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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

if you want to see a whale, written by julie fogliano and illustrated by erin e. stead. Roaring Brook Press, Macmillan. Raincoast, 2013. $18.99 ages 4 and up

"if you want to see a whale
you will need a not-so-comfy chair
and a not-too-cozy blanket
because sleeping eyes can't
watch for whales
and whales won't wait for

Do you remember how much you loved sharing And Then It's Spring, 2012 to your children at home and at school. It is such a peaceful, patient look at the coming of spring and will forever be my favorite book to welcome that oft glorious season. In Manitoba this year, as in many parts of North America, we can surely use that patience to get us to green fields and warm days!

In this new equally beautiful book, Julie Fogliano brings patience to the forefront as a little boy longs for the chance to see a whale. The advice is forthcoming, but tough to take:

“if you want to see a whale
 you will need a window
 and an ocean
 and time for waiting
 and time for looking
 and time for wondering ‘is that a whale?’ ”

There are many things you cannot do, and many excursions you must not undertake, if your dearest wish is to see a whale. You must focus all of your attention on your quest. If you are patient enough, and persistent enough, and observant enough, your wish might just come true!

Erin Stead uses linoleum printing techniques and pencil to create the warm and imaginative artwork that complements Ms. Fogliano's text beautifully. Although she creates all those distractions -birds, roses, pirate ships, clouds, pelicans and caterpillars - the boy is resolute in his need to see the mighty whale.

While you may be in awe of the encounter, you are sure to feel the same about this amazing book!

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