Written and illustrated by Jo Weaver
Together, Little Whale and Gray Whale swim under midnight skies and through coral reefs teeming with life as they migrate to the cool, rich waters of the north to feed. Gray Whale gently guides her baby along the way, keeping Little Whale safe from passing ships and dangerous predators. At long last, the echo of a whale song calls to them through icy water and they know . . . they are home.
With gentle text and stunning monochromatic illustrations, Jo Weaver reveals the wonder of nature, the excitement of discovery, and the strength of parental love. In addition to the stunning artwork that pulls readers right into the beautiful, vast, and seemingly endlessn ocean in which these whales travel, the story provides an introduction to gray whales and their dangerous and epic annual migration.
“A soothing and appealing read-aloud, this lovely look under the sea may spark scientific curiosity in listeners.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The simple, comforting text and the graceful illustrations keep perfect time, lending a quiet satisfaction to a story perfect for bed/laptime. Inviting to the eye and gently informative, this is a soft introduction to gray whales and animal migrations.” —School Library Journal
“Weaver’s lyrical text is accompanied by stunning charcoal illustrations, which beautifully capture this habitat, both above and below the water line.” —Booklist
Gray whales have the longest known migration of any mammal, traveling up to 12, 000 round trip every year! During the fall months, pregnant females will head south to warmer waters to give birth, traveling along the western coast from Alaska down to the warm, shallow waters of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. Non-pregnant females as well as other adults will also make the journey to socialize and potentially find a mate. Those southern nursery lagoons become home to mothers and their newly born calves during the winter and early spring. Once the babies have gained enough blubber and strength, they make their long and dangerous journey with their mothers to the feeding grounds up north. The whales face many threats during the important trip, including natural predators like orcas, as well as human-related threats along their routes. And even if they make it all the way north to feed, the danger of climate change can greatly affect their main food source in the Arctic. The life of a gray whale is not an easy one!
More fun gray whale facts:
- When fully grown the gray whale can grow to lengths of over 50 ft. long and can weigh up to 30 to 40 tons!
- To stay warm in cold waters, the gray whale’s insulated blubber can measure up to 10 inches thick.
- Gray whales hunt for their prey by swimming to the bottom of the ocean, turning on its side and scooping up sediments from the sea floor. Surprisingly, most gray whales feed primarily from their right side!
- Gray whales are considered one of the “friendliest” whales and will commonly approach boats alongside their calves. That’s why people across the world will travel to see the migrate along the coast.
Little Whale is a beautiful book, perfect as a bedtime read-aloud for any animal lover or budding marine biologist. Find Little Whale on Amazon or at your local library, indie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble!