BALLY THE BLUE WHALE by Boris Arnov

BALLY THE BLUE WHALE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

By following one year in the life of the blue whale, many facts about the different kinds of whales are presented. The unfortunately named Bally weighed in at 5000 lbs. as befits the world's largest mammal. Born off the coast of Argentina, Bally and his mother migrate to the Antarctic to beat the heat. They encounter killer whales, sperm whales, sulphur bottom whales, and humpback whales. Each of these is identified for distinguishing characteristics and eating habits. However, only in the two scenes where the killer whales attack the blues does anything like the excitement and awesomeness of these gargantuan creatures enter the text. Bally was provided with a name, not a personality. Escaping the ever present whaling ships and learning to use his flukes to fight off killer whales, Bally nevertheless seems monumentally sluggish. While there are a barrage of facts and startling measurements here, they are not offered as deftly as they were by Zim in Great Whales (1951) nor is Bally anywhere near as memorable as the still in print Sharpears: Baby Whale (1938) by Beaty. Seen without the illustrations of John Mack.

Publisher: Criterion