I am thrilled to be kicking off the blog tour for The Tale of the Whale by Karen Swann and Padmacandra. This lyrical environmental story of friendship swept me away.
Where land becomes sky and the sky becomes sea, a child spots a whale and a beautiful friendship is born. The whale and the child go on a magical journey across the sea.
The child sees the world from the whale’s perspective, and they explore the beauty of the world together. Padmacandra’s illustrations are mesmerising and there are so many little details for children to spot.
The bond between the child and the whale grows and grows and feels utterly believable. The whale and the child dance with dolphins and fly over polar ice-caps. With each new adventure, there is a beautiful repetition within the text. From I smiled with the whale, and the whale smiled with me to I waved at the whale, and the whale waved at me. The gentle, rhythmical lyrics mimic the swash of ocean waves and my daughter soon caught on to the pattern, and was able to finish the sentences.
But although the whale and the child smile on their journey, they also cry. For when the whale opens its mouth, it swallows half an ocean’s worth of plastic. The child realises plastic pollution is destroying the whale’s home.
My daughter and I both found Padmacandra’s depiction of the dangers of plastic to ocean life incredibly powerful. She also liked how Padmacandra showed four different times of day – another lovely touch!
The final few pages of the story have a slightly different feel. Pacmacandra has used the bold yellow of the sand to show the child has also grown bold and determined. The child knows something has to be done, and makes a direct plea to the reader to end plastic pollution. My little girl loved seeing the child take charge. She said, “that’s why we recycle, Mummy.”.
Karen’s lyrical words and Padmacandra’s majestic illustrations captivated us from start to finish. The Tale of the Whale is a masterful debut with exquisite illustrations. At the core of this heart-felt story of friendship, is a powerful reminder of everyone’s individual responsibility to protect our planet from plastic pollution. We loved it!
Published by Scallywag Press, 4 March 2021
Don’t forget to join in with the rest of the tour!
I am very grateful to the publisher for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. This voluntary review contains my honest opinion.