A young whale finds himself in jeopardy.
Oscar, a young whale, lives with his mother deep in the ocean, surrounded by all sorts of different animals. He always feels safe—until the day he gets trapped in an abandoned scrap of fishing net. Separated from his mother and initially unable to move, he rises for air and is freed by some divers, the likes of which he’s never seen before. After a “dance” for his rescuers, he is joyfully reunited with his mother. Based on a true story, this well-intentioned tale includes some facts about humpback whales and some of the perils they face from pollution as well as hunting. The focus here is educational rather than artistic; it appears that young readers and listeners are meant to attend to the plot and lesson rather than a gracefully told story; the language is sometimes clumsy, while the artwork is pleasant but not particularly artful. The consistent, nonstandard capitalization of “Mama” regardless of context (“Where is his Mama?”) gives the text an amateurish feel. Still the book’s focus on the plight of whales may make it helpful in the classroom as a supporting resource, though it stops short of providing children with concrete measures that may encourage recycling or activism.
A basic introduction to the environmental hazards that endanger whales. (Picture book. 3-7)