When Penguin hears Whale singing the blues, he tries to help. But how do you stop a blue whale feeling blue. A delightful story about a whale with bike trouble and the happy go lucky penguin who cheers him up.
I was pleased to be given a copy of this book to review and as it was aimed at children aged 3 and up, I decided to take it to the preschool where I work to share with some of the 2, 3 and 4 year olds. The first thing I discovered is that it's really hard not to break out into song during the part when the whale is singing the blues... but the children love this, even if my voice isn't that great!
The first thing the children noticed was the awesome pictures which seem to jump out at you. I'm not very clued up on how they get that effect, but I'm guessing the pictures are actually photos of a collage... complete with real string etc. I had the children all trying to pick the string up off the page!
The humour in the book seemed to be right at the children's level, although I did tend to find myself explaining the story to them as I went. But this may have been unnecessary and I think their recommendation from age 3 is spot on.
Later I read the book to my 7 year old and she seemed a bit bored (it was possibly slightly beyond her, even though she still prefers to be read to, and still likes picture books). However she did get the humour straight away and particularly liked the last page which got a little giggle out of us both. And when I asked her if she enjoyed the story, she broke out in a huge grin and told me she really loved it... so maybe not so bored after all.
I read that this book helps children understand and deal with depression and in a small way I guess it does... certainly it could be a starting point for an adult to introduce discussions of such feelings and how to deal with them if required. If not required, it's just a delightful little book that seems to appeal to young children.
This book isn't cheap but that's what you get for a good sturdy hard cover book that will last the difference. And although I haven't tried it, there is a QR code you can scan to get an audio reading of the book - great added value. I can see some re-readability in this, for example it could be a book to get out over time when children are dealing with feelings of sadness. I'd recommend in particular for age 3 to 5.
Blue Whale Blues has a captivating and slightly humorous cover which instantly makes you want to read the book! The illustrations are a mix between watercolor and collage and are very FUNNY! The kids loved that!
Blue Whale Blues has a free audio book that you are able to download which is great! Especially if you have things to do and want five minutes peace I would highly recommend downloading this! I loved that the story has a message, this being that it is okay to feel blue sometimes but with the right friends and support this will soon pass and you will feel happiness again! Having a good friend is what most people need in life!
The kids enjoyed me singing the "Blue Whales Blues" and thought my singing voice could do with some improvements. They had a great time pointing out the "out of place" things in the illustrations" and were happy the book ended on a happy note. As a person who struggles with explaining feelings or expressing myself I think this book is a fantastic way of letting children know things are not always happy, you will have obstacles but they are only temporary.
Great book with a fantastic message!
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