Books by Debra Page

ORCAS AROUND ME by Debra Page
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 1997

Page chronicles the real events of her family's fishing life from the perspective of her oldest son, Taiga, making him the voice of the first-person narration. Taiga and his brother, Ryland, spend a summer assisting their parents on fishing boats in Alaska, where experience becomes their best teacher. Taiga, by neccessity, must help out, catching and cleaning fish, but the entire day is filled with unique and valuable interactions with the natural world. Taiga's father tells of the time he accidentally hooked a porpoise and was unable to free the thrashing creature; the family dog began to ``sing,'' an act that somehow calmed the porpoise. Taiga is sleeping when the fishing boat gets grounded on a rock, but wakes up in time for an encounter with orcas—killer whales—that surround them. He is scared, but the whales eventually pass by, and the family is unscathed. In this setting, nature is neither cute nor predictable—an attitude that recognizes that humans don't control or even completely fathom the workings of the natural world. Bowman's watercolor scenes exhibit an attention to detail and make these stories ring true, capturing the many moods of a summer spent mostly shipboard. Taiga's adventures combine natural history and good storytelling, and will captivate young listeners if read aloud. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-9) Read full book review >