One of my very favourite picture books of all time is If You Want to See a Whale written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Erin E. Stead When I first read this book, I had just spent a week at a summer house waiting to see a whale. I never did. But this book reminded me of how very much I longed for one to pass through the ocean as I gazed out ever so patiently at the water.How I adore this book. I love it because it’s beautiful. It is gentle and calm. It reads like I imagined a whale might move – softly, smoothly and ever so gracefully. But I mostly love it because I really do want to see a whale. It tempts me with the possibility. It lures me with the one day . . . The maybe . . .
Now, I love this book for another most perfect reason. Finally, I have seen my whale. We just spent over a week in Roberts Creek on the Sunshine Coast of B.C and we saw a gray whale just off the beach close to where we were staying. Honestly, I got teary. It was one of the most beautiful experiences in nature I have ever had.
Of course we were not the only ones enamoured with this whale. While we watched from shore, a few small boats watched from closer by.
Two kayakers stopped as well.
Here are my children watching the water for sightings of “our” whale. Every few minutes it would surface to exhale.
I was lucky enough to see this whale on three different occasions and each time I watched it for at least thirty minutes. Once, we saw it in the evening. It was so quiet and the sound of the whale exhaling is something I won’t ever forget.
If you are like me and have had dreams of seeing a whale, here are some more picture books – both fiction and nonfiction that will make you long for the experience even more. I have always been “swoony” about whale illustrations. I suspect this sighting will make me more so.
The Blue Whale by Jenni Desmond
The Eye of the Whale: A Rescue Story by Jennifer O’Connell
Big Blue Whale written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Nick Maland
Here Come the Humpbacks written by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Jamie Hogan
Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman Flotsam by David WiesnerJumping Penguins illustrated by Marije Tolman with text by Jesse Goossens
Following Papa’s Song by Gianna Marino
The Storm Whale by Benji Davies
Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems by Kate Coombs illustrated by Meilo So
The Mermaid and the Shoe by K. G. Campbell
Billy Twitters and his Blue Whale Problem written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Adam Rex
Wild Ideas: Let Nature Inspire Your Thinking written by Elin Kelsey and illustrated by Soyeon Kim
To the Sea by Cale Atkinson
Have you seen a whale in the wild? I would love to hear about it!