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WHALES!  by Laurence Pringle


Strange and Wonderful

From the Strange and Wonderful series

by Laurence Pringle & illustrated by Meryl Henderson

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 1-56397-439-8
Publisher: Boyds Mills

From a take-notice beginning (“If you were a great whale, you could open your mouth wide enough to hold an elephant”) to a thoughtful treatment of whale conservation at the end, Pringle (Crows, 2002, etc.) does a bang-up job on his 100th outing. Here he covers all aspects of the giants, from physiology to diet to migration, and all types, from narwhals with their spiral tusks (really a left tooth) to blue whales that grow to be 100 feet long (and eat four tons of food a day). Pringle’s smooth prose explains not only the what, but the why of whales—they can grow so big, for example, because the water they live in supports their weight. Henderson’s annotated watercolors dramatize and enliven the text, as well as provide a useful sense of scale. A rare nonfiction picture book that works beautifully as a read-aloud, as a whole, it’s as wonderful as the whales. (Nonfiction. 4-10)