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THE WHALES' SONG by Dyan Sheldon


by Dyan Sheldon & illustrated by Gary Blythe

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: May 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-8037-0972-2
Publisher: Dial

 Lilly's grandmother tells her about whales: ``...big as the hills...peaceful as the moon...wondrous...'' When they were more numerous, she used go to the pier to hear them sing--perhaps in response to her gifts: a perfect shell or stone. Curmudgeonly Great-uncle Frederick counters such fantasies: ``Whales were important for their meat, and for their...blubber.'' Still, Lilly dreams of whales, then throws them a single blossom from the pier. After a long day's wait, she is rewarded by seeing whales jump against the moon while ``their singing filled the night.'' In a spare, poetic narrative, Sheldon captures a child's wonder at these magnificent creatures, echoed, in a splendid debut, in Blythe's generously broad oil paintings. His whales- -viewed from near, unusual vantage points--are benignly heroic while, from dawn to moonlight, his sea and sky are beautifully observed; best are his lovely, perceptive portraits of the old woman's wise, lined face and Lilly's tousled curls and expressive eyes. Outstanding. (Picture book. 4-8)