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THE STORM WHALE by Benji Davies Kirkus Star


by Benji Davies ; illustrated by Benji Davies

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9967-6
Publisher: Henry Holt

The story of a very unusual friendship.

Noi lives with his father and six cats in an isolated home by a shining sea. Bright, simple text that sparkles with clarity and quietly dazzling illustrations that have the feel of another time and place describe Noi at home with his feline compatriots as his father goes out to work on a fishing boat. While walking on the shore, Noi discovers a small beached whale and brings his curious new friend home to the family tub with the best possible results. His father isn’t angry at all but realizes that Noi has been lonely. As the whale needs to be in water, however, Noi’s father rows boy and whale through the stormy ocean until they reach a suitable depth. (Both humans are clad in yellow oilskins and sou’westers.) This imaginative, offbeat and original tale, lightly dusted with believable magic, perfectly captures a generous child’s loyalty and dedication and ends with comfort and subtlety. Noi gazes off to sea, an obvious pair of parent-child flukes in the distance, thinking of when he will see his friend again, while his beloved father watches him, clearly enjoying relaxing with his son. 

Replete with both peaceful charm and a sense of wonder, this is a selection children will embrace and come back to time and time again.

(Picture book. 3-8)