A picture book about finding friends.
A “small blue whale…in a silver sea” is “wishing, wanting, waiting for a friend.” As the sun rises, the whale feels the warmth and wonders if this is what friendship feels like. A pink cloud in the sky sprinkles drops of water on him, causing the whale to wonder if this is what friendship tastes like. Other senses are engaged as the story progresses. Ferry’s smooth text glistens with alliteration and circularity, but the sweet story is just that—one-note sweet. In both illustrations and text, the whale is always pleasant, even when, due to an ill-considered decision (but done in the name of friendship), he ends up stuck on the ice until a troupe of shovel-wielding penguins rescues him. The not-unexpected ending neatly affirms that the whale has found friends and that it was worth the wait. Mundorff’s illustrations, looking somewhat like Eric Carle’s tissue-paper collages, have a serene feel, and her color palette stays on the cool side, so the overall effect is tranquil but rather detached. Readers may wish for a bit more personality in either the text or the illustrations—a little salt to contrast all that sweetness. Then again, maybe sweet these days is just fine too.
Amiable but with no surprises, this story about finding friendship makes for a pleasant if not particularly memorable read-aloud. (Picture book. 2-6)