“The huge humpback whale dips and dives. Her sleek black sides shimmering, she spyhops, lobtails, flashes her flukes.” Robert Burleigh’s vivid language drew me into his book. Quickly, his beautiful descriptions of everyday life in the sea shift into a suspense filled drama. The humpback whale becomes entangled with fishing nets. Can she survive?
We see humans acting humanely but without denying the wildness of the humpback in the dramatic ending to this book.
I eagerly turned page after page of this book. The page breaks come at moments of highest suspense and the language is rich but economical. This book would be a great mentor text for effective picture book page turns, for how to build suspense, and for how to use vivid words in descriptions.
This story is based on news articles of an actual event. The back matter gives more information about that original event, about the limits of whale rescue, and about humpbacks.
This is a great read with beautiful paintings by Wendell Minor. And it’s tragically timely, too. This news report appeared six months after the book was published, but it could have been the source of the book.
Trapped! A Whale’s Rescue, by Robert Burleigh, illustrated by Wendell Minor. Charlesbridge: 2015.