In this variation on a well-trodden theme, mother barn owl Caterina takes her son Leo to the beach.
They would both love to see a whale. But no one can plan to see a whale. Not even Caterina, in spite of, or perhaps because of, all her research. She brings a large cart stuffed with brochures, lists, articles, and information about whales, not forgetting the sunscreen, an elaborate lunch, craft supplies, and all the essentials for a day at the beach. She even researches castles in preparation for building a castle based on a Japanese temple. Leo, however, refuses to be distracted by the research and keeps his eye on the prize, leading his mother into the ocean, where their search is finally rewarded with a huge beautiful whale, close-up and personal. The message of the story will resonate with today’s busy and stressed parents: don’t let your obsessions get in the way of true experience, and allow yourself to be guided by the young. What distinguishes this book from similar-themed offerings is the engaging eclectic collage that nimbly mirrors Caterina’s parenting style. Fussy little lists, photos cut from magazines, drawings, textures, and other ephemera are strewn across the pages, giving young readers plenty of eye candy and adults some serious ideas to think about.
Children will especially appreciate seeing their wisdom validated in this sweet mother-son outing. (Picture book. 2-4)