A SYMPHONY OF WHALES by Steve Schuch

A SYMPHONY OF WHALES

Age Range: 6 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The true story may be more exciting than its telling in this first effort from Schuch and Sylvada, who give the tale of the real rescue of whales a metaphysical spin. Glashka has a special gift--she can hear the voice of Narna, the whale, as her ancestors once did. A nighttime dream foretells of a fateful event--thousands of whales trapped in the ice. Glashka’s villagers, young and old, chip back the ice to make room for the whales to breathe until the arrival of a Russian icebreaker. Even though the path is clear, the whales are afraid to follow the ship out to open sea; Glashka believes that music will lead the whales to safety. The Russian crew blasts rock-and-roll, and then Russian folk songs, but only a work of classical music brings the desired result. While it’s true that thousands of Beluga whales were trapped in a Siberian strait across from the Bering Sea in Alaska, and that classical music led them to open waters, Glashka comes across not as a person, but as a character created solely for a particular effect. Dense oil paintings serve primarily as backdrops--abstracted dark shapes of whales and ships, sweeps of ice, ocean and sky. The art’s somber style adds weight to a story striving for buoyancy. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-15-201670-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1999