WHALE SONG by Tony Johnston
Kirkus Star


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A stunningly beautiful evocation of the gentle giants of the deep. Imagining that whales are counting as they sing, Johnston uses numbers to represent the eerie whale song in his poetic text. As the song travels from whale to whale, they are seen in different habitats--surface to deep, tropical to arctic. Single whales, a mother and baby, a pod of uncles, and a barnacled grandfather lead up to an inspired conclusion: a silent shore and then a child shouting ""Ten!"" In his loveliest color work to date, Young has painted the underwater world in subtle and variable blues and greens, the sun sometimes gleaming through the waves. The dark leviathans are gracefully lined in chalky white; seen at a distance or at such close range that only a small portion of the huge body fits within the picture space, they are noble and mysterious. Jeanyee Wong's calligraphy, reproduced in white directly on the illustrations, is integrated perfectly with both the design and the imaginatively suggested rise and fall of the whale song. More effective than any earnest, didactic plea for this endangered species could possibly be, this belongs in every library collection.

Pub Date: Oct. 23rd, 1987
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Putnam