Name of Book: Big Blue Whale
Author: Nicola Davies
Illustrator: Nick Maland
Audience: Children Age 5-8+
Summary: Big Blue Whale is a non-fiction children’s book that tells the reader us about the characteristics and lives of Big Blue Whales. The colorful illustrations, music CD, and facts guide the reader into the wonderful undersea world of blue whales through information, story, and music. The book opens the reader’s imagination into the magnificent creature and life of the blue whale. The blue whale is the biggest creature that has ever lived on earth bigger than an elephant or even a dinosaur. It is a unique creature that breathes, sings, and experiences life through the senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Fewer than 10,000 blue whales remain on earth. Hunting of the blue whale is now banned, but their numbers are growing. Humans can travel the ocean for a year and never see a single blue whale “because in the vastness of the green seas, even a blue whale is small and hard to find..
Literary elements at work in the story:
Genre: Picture Book/Informational Facts -Non-Fiction
Setting: Oceans of the World
Characterization: Blue whales are portrayed as admired and unique creatures, mammals who travel the oceans of the world as the seasons change. They are uniquely and wonderfully created creatures, made for their home in the ocean.
Plot: The reader views the creature, the Blue whale, as it lives its life in the ocean in relation to human life upon dry land. Humans and whales occupy the same world, yet humans who are smaller in size dominant and impact the life of this beautiful creature.
Theme: The story provides us with informational facts about the characteristics of the Blue whale and its habitat and way of life.
Point of View: The story is told from the perspective of a storyteller.
Style: The story draws upon poetic prose and graceful illustrations to tenderly tell the story of the largest creature on earth, one that requires our admiration, respect, and care. The harshness of this story is in human’s disregard for the blue whales beauty and place in the world as a unique creature.
Perspective on Gender/race/economic/ability: Illustrations are breathtaking. They display the beauty and size of the blue whale and the way of life in our oceans. As the story is experienced, there is a sense of awe. You want to thank God for the uniqueness of each creature and our relationship of dependency and responsibility in the God’s world. The whales are referenced as it; a somewhat disturbing use of a pronoun. Blue whales are in fact male and female mammals, real creatures in God’s world.
Scripture: Genesis 1:24-2:4, Psalm 8, Luke 12:22-34
Theology: The book is a powerful expression of the wonder of God’s creation and loving providential care. The Blue Whale is uniquely made by God to survive and enjoy life in the oceans of God’s world; the cold of arctic waters and the heat of the waters of the equator. The Blue Whale may be large, but it still enjoys God’s world with humanity. Creation depends on life cycles. We are called to be stewards of God’s creation and grateful for God’s love and care.
Faith Talk Questions:
- Why do you think God made Blue Whales?
- What is life like in the ocean?
- What one thing do you find most amazing or unique about the Blue Whale?
- How does God take care of the Blue Whales?
- How do we hurt Blue Whales?
- Why should we take care of Blue Whales?
- How do the Blue Whales care for us?
- What one question do you want to ask God about the Blue Whale? Why?
Review prepared by Kim Stamey, MDiv/MACE, Entering cohort Fall 2003
Big Blue Whale by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.