TO THE SEA by Cale Atkinson


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 6
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Tim finds a whale beached on a street adjacent to his school and vows to help his new friend get back to the sea.

The amorphous, sluglike whale, Sam, is simply stuck and as shockingly invisible to others as Tim is. The whale’s hugeness captures the heft and burden of Tim’s own inexplicable loneliness. Readers first see Tim standing alone in pouring rain, his face obscured by a dripping hoodie and his need for a friend plain. Sam’s massive body, a murky emerald green, often entirely fills the page, making him difficult to discern. His round eyes, however, deliver remarkably acute information about his worry and salty homesickness. Tim’s earnest promise to get Sam back to the ocean brightens this book of dark double-page spreads, done in deep blues and greens from the very bottom of the sea. Beaming tangerines highlight all the words and people in this friendship tale, buoying every inky illustration. Children will cheer as Tim ties Sam to a rope behind his bike and pulls and pedals and huffs and puffs him all the way to a seaside cliff...and over!

A whale's tale that dives deep and surfaces with useful lessons about making, keeping, and helping friends. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: June 2nd, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4847-0813-2
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2015


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