I wanted to see a whale

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.If you want to see a whale I wanted to see a whale There's a Book for ThatHow 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.

 I wanted to see a whale There's a Book for That

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.

 I wanted to see a whale There's a Book for That

Two kayakers stopped as well.

 I wanted to see a whale There's a Book for That

Here are my children watching the water for sightings of “our” whale. Every few minutes it would surface to exhale.

 I wanted to see a whale There's a Book for That

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 Blue Whale  I wanted to see a whale There's a Book for That

Trapped! A Whale’s Rescue written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Wendell Minor
Trapped! A Whale's Rescue  I wanted to see a whale There's a Book for That

The Eye of the Whale: A Rescue Story by Jennifer O’Connell

The Eye of the Whale  I wanted to see a whale There's a Book for ThatBig Blue Whale written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Nick Maland
big blue whale  I wanted to see a whale There's a Book for ThatHere Come the Humpbacks written by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Jamie Hogan
here come the humpbacks  I wanted to see a whale There's a Book for That Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman Three Bears in a Boat  I wanted to see a whale There's a Book for That Flotsam by David WiesnerFlotsam  I wanted to see a whale There's a Book for ThatJumping Penguins illustrated by Marije Tolman with text by Jesse Goossens
Jumping Penguins  I wanted to see a whale There's a Book for ThatFollowing Papa’s Song by Gianna Marino 
 Following Papa's Song  I wanted to see a whale There's a Book for ThatThe Storm Whale by Benji Davies

 The Storm Whale  I wanted to see a whale There's a Book for ThatWater Sings Blue: Ocean Poems by Kate Coombs illustrated by Meilo So
Water Sings Blue  I wanted to see a whale There's a Book for ThatThe Mermaid and the Shoe by K. G. Campbell
mermaid and the shoe  I wanted to see a whale There's a Book for ThatBilly Twitters and his Blue Whale Problem written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Adam Rex
 Billy Twitters  I wanted to see a whale There's a Book for ThatWild Ideas: Let Nature Inspire Your Thinking written by Elin Kelsey and illustrated by Soyeon Kim
Wild Ideas  I wanted to see a whale There's a Book for That

To the Sea by Cale Atkinson

To the Sea I wanted to see a whale There's a Book for That

Have you seen a whale in the wild?  I would love to hear about it!

Monday August 11th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

imwayr

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. You are guaranteed to find something new to add to your list.

The picture books I loved this week include some nonfiction titles. I won’t be posting for Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday (away on holiday) so sharing some wonderful nonfiction here today.

Jacob’s New Dress written by Sarah and Ian Hoffman and illustrated by Chris Case

Really a must have title for those of us trying to build a library that represents all of the diversity in our classrooms. This picture book touches on gender non-conforming children and sends a beautiful message: “There are lots of different ways to be a boy.” Little Jacob’s interactions with his parents are emotional as he waits to see their reactions to his requests to wear a dress to school. A brave little character. A must have book.

Jacob's New Dress #IMWAYR Monday August 11th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Mr. Flux written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Matte Stephens 

I have said it before – I embrace the odd and quirky in picture books and this title is all about just that. Eccentric, yes. Embracing change, it’s here. A book you will either like or not but worth checking out!

Mr. Flux #IMWAYR Monday August 11th, 2014 There's a Book for That

A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee

I am really not sure how I haven’t read this book. I knew about this book. I have held it in my hand at the library. But, I only finally read it now. Huh? Marla Frazee, my favourite! A book about connections between generations, which I love. So asking again, how did I miss this? Maybe because I needed the perfect summer day to read and savour it. Loved everything about this title – the humour, the boy energy and whims, the awesome grandparents and the big and small adventures.

A Couple of Boys have the Best Week Ever  #IMWAYR Monday August 11th, 2014 There's a Book for That

The Eye of the Whale: A Rescue Story by Jennifer O’Connell

This book made me cry. Just a gorgeous picture book based on a real life rescue. There is magic and hope here.

The Eye of the Whale  #IMWAYR Monday August 11th, 2014 There's a Book for That

A Baby Elephant in the Wild written by Caitlin O’Connell with photographs by Timothy Rodwell and Caitlin O’Connell

My students aren’t to read Scientist in the Field titles yet so books like this (written by the author of The Elephant Scientist, a Scientist in the Field title are perfect. Lots of learning about elephants in a book younger students can manage.

 A Baby Elephant in the Wild  #IMWAYR Monday August 11th, 2014 There's a Book for That

In the Trees, Honey Bees written by Lori Mortensen and illustrated by Cris Arbo

The illustrations in this book are just incredible. They look almost like photographs. This book reads like a poem with more information on each page so it can be read in many different ways. Lots of learning about bees and how they interact in this title.

 In the Trees, Honey Bees  #IMWAYR Monday August 11th, 2014 There's a Book for That

I also finished Circa Now by Amber McRee Turner

This is a very special title. Themes of grief, friendship and family are interwoven through a story that makes us believe in magic or at least “meant to be”.  This would be the perfect middle grade book club selection. There is so much to talk about.

 Circa Now  #IMWAYR Monday August 11th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Next up? I have a large pile of titles to take on my holiday. I am hoping for a book a day! Reading, the ocean and family time! Hurrah!

Reading Goal Updates: 

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 55/100 novels complete

Goodreads Challenge: 383/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 20/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 97/65 complete