A young whale awaits the call for his first migration with a mix of concern and anticipation, but Papa’s strong reassuring presence and sage advice make for an exhilarating journey.
Little Blue is eager to know how far they will travel, how they will know where to go and how to swim so quickly as they await the signal from other whales. Papa’s wise replies teach as well as comfort. When Little Blue hears a sound from afar, Papa signals for them to begin the long swim to their summer feeding ground. “Papa’s voice echoed across the sea, through the liquid light and deep into the mysterious black.” Marino’s text has a lyrical quality that pairs beautifully with the magical mixed-media illustrations created with gouache and textured paper. By varying the perspective in the spreads, she conveys the vastness of the ocean to children. On one, the father and child look rather small moving through a great expanse of turquoise blues, while on another, a close-up of the whales’ faces emphasizes the warm intimacy between the pair. Dramatic changes in color signal emotional shifts in the story.
This beautifully executed book about the bond between father and child that can be as deep as the darkest sea and powerful enough to help navigate in times of trouble will resonate with readers both young and old. (Picture book. 3-6)