DARIO AND THE WHALE by Cheryl Lawton Malone


Age Range: 5 - 8
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Who wouldn’t want to be friends with a whale?

Every spring Dario travels with his mother to Cape Cod from their home in Brazil. Every spring a right whale migrates to the same location. She brings her calf to a bay near the restaurant where Dario’s mother cooks. In a charming turn of events, the author parallels Dario’s experiences with the cetaceans’. They gravitate here yearly—for Dario’s mother’s employment, for the whales’ spring migration. When Dario attempts to make new friends, his limited English make this hard; the whale alienates potential pals in the sea, either unintentionally or by design. And so the stage is set for these two to become fast friends. Once they’ve noticed each other, they “visit” and communicate for hours at the beach daily; Dario’s whistles elicit V-shaped spouts; the boy’s waves result in spectacular breaching displays. When Dario learns that the whales must soon leave, he’s sad, but, with a giant slap of a notched tail, his new friend “assures” him of return the following year. This delightful story is based on the author’s actual experience on Cape Cod. The illustrations are delicately lovely, the simple backgrounds allowing readers to focus on the action and expressive main characters. A helpful note about right whales concludes the book.

A heartwarming paean to long walks along the beach. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-8075-1463-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Whitman
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2016


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