Reading is one of my favorite activities to do with my children. I have been reading aloud to all three since each one was born. My oldest has been reading on her own for three years now, and my preschooler and toddler enjoy listening to me read books out loud. I am always looking for new books to share with my kiddos. When recently offered the chance to review The Children and the Whale by Daniel Frost from Little Gestalten in exchange for my honest opinion, I eagerly accepted the opportunity to add a new title to my home library.
Winner of the Oberon Award for his illustrated version of Gulliver’s Travels, author and illustrator Daniel Frost is an artist fixated on odd people and strange situations. Craftsmanship is at the heart of his work, and he often uses a combination of traditional materials and digital technology to create a blend of modern imagery with the delicate qualities of traditional mediums. He has exhibited his work around the world and has worked for a list of clients including Nike, The New York Times, and Transport for London.
Recommended for readers between the ages of 3 and 7 in preschool through second grade, The Children and the Whale tells a tale of kinship and beauty in the wilderness of the Arctic Circle. Cuno and Aia live in the far, far north. Their father tells of a gigantic animal in the nearby waters that is six times the size of a house with a heart as big as a boat. He has not seen the animal since he was a child because no one knows where the whale roams. The two siblings set out to find the whale and discover an unlikely friend along the way. The bedtime story offers a magical journey and reminder to enjoy the adventurous moments that we create in the world. The full-color 32-page hardback book from Little Gestalten currently costs $13.49 on Amazon with a list price of $19.95.
As a mother of three, I love that The Children and the Whale offers a sibling story to which my own children can relate. The book begins with a father telling his son and daughter about a whale that he himself has not seen since his childhood. The brother decides to search for the whale alone, but his sister wants to tag along. My two oldest children definitely understand the pains of an annoying sibling but, just like Cuno and Aia, also realize the strength of sibling bonds. Any child with a brother or sister can find the story relatable. Without giving the ending away, I also love that the two children find an unlikely friend (or maybe two) in the end.
My oldest daughter can easily read the text of the book on her own. My younger two children enjoy listening to me read the story out loud. We all especially enjoy the illustrations that help bring the story to life. I love all the blues throughout the book, which make me feel like I am in the Arctic Circle with the two children. I also love the simplicity and softness of the illustrations. My youngest daughter is 13 months old, and she likes to point out familiar objects throughout the pages. All in all, I give The Children and the Whale two enthusiastic thumbs up!
If you are searching for a sweet picture book to share with your little readers, definitely check out The Children and the Whale by Daniel Frost from Little Gestalten. The book tells the story of two siblings who set out to find a gigantic but mysterious whale. While wandering in the Arctic Circle where the waters are vast and deep and the skies breathe magic, the brother and sister discover an unlikely friendship. The illustrations are bold and beautiful, capturing the attention of my two youngest children. The book and story are beautiful, and I look forward to reading The Children and the Whale allowed to my kiddos many more times to come.
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‘The Children and the Whale’ Book Review © 2019 Heather Johnson
Front Cover of ‘The Children and the Whale’ © 2019 Heather Johnson
Back Cover of ‘The Children and the Whale’ © 2019 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of ‘The Children and the Whale’ 1 © 2019 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of ‘The Children and the Whale’ 2 © 2019 Heather Johnson