It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. For more information check out the host blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.
What I Read This Week…
I read two picture books about whales. Both were narratives and told about rescue efforts to save a whale that was in danger. Although telling very different stories, both books focused on the interaction between humans and animals and showed the vulnerability of such a large creature.
The Stranded Whale by Jane Yolen
This story definitely pulls at the heartstrings. It is set in 1971 and Sally and her brother are walking along the dunes when they discover a beached whale. While they wait for help they try to keep the whale wet by wringing out their sweaters that they soaked in the ocean water. Others come to help, but they are unable to push the whale out into the ocean. Yolen writes beautifully, capturing the desperation of the situation and the anger and sadness Sally feels when the whale can’t be saved. Yolen explains in the Author’s Note that the majority of stranded whales do end up dying, making this an honest and realistic tale.
Trapped: A Whale’s Rescue by Robert Burleigh
This is a story, based on an actual event, in which a humpback whale becomes trapped in a fishing net. Rescuers dive into the water to cut the ropes away from the whale’s body and soon the creature is free. This text is also beautifully written, sounding almost poetic. Readers will feel empathy for the whale and understand the danger the rescuers put themselves in to free the whale. The illustrations are beautiful as well. Information about the incident this story is based on and humpback whales is included at the end of the book.
A Tale of Two Beasts by Fiona Roberton
This picture book is divided into two parts, telling two very different perspectives of a story. In Part One, "The Strange Beast", the girl recounts how she rescued a strange beast from the woods and brought him home. In Part Two, "The Terrible Beast", the creature recounts how he was ambushed in the woods and taken to the girl’s lair. The beasts see the world differently, but in the end they are able to get along with each other. This book can start conversations about perspective and how we understand each other.
Everyone Loves Bacon by Kelly Dipucchio
Bacon seems to be everywhere these days so it shouldn’t be a surprise that bacon has ended up as the main character in a picture book. Breakfast foods and other delicacies are personified in this story that tells about Bacon, the most popular food of them all, and how the fame goes to his head. Bacon tells charming stories, plays the ukulele, and drives a fancy car, but he also forgets all about his friends. The joke in the end, depicted by an empty plate, shows what really happens to Bacon when everyone loves him. Bacon lovers will love this one.