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Monday, December 28, 2015

The Whale in My Swimming Pool, written and illustrated by Joyce Wan. Farrar Straus Giroux, Macmillan. Raincoast, 2015. $20.50 ages 3 and up

"Maybe you just
need a little help.

Why my pool?
Why not the pool
next door?

They have the best
pool on the block!"

An inflatable pool might be the very best place to be on a hot summer day - at least that's what the small boy thinks when he makes his way into the backyard to enjoy a cool plunge. Wait a minute! What is that humungous thing atop the tiny pool? Can it be a whale?

Mom is interested in the book she is reading, doesn't really hear what her son is telling her, offers no useful advice. The youngster comes up with his own solution for the dilemma. He will count to ten, the whale will be gone, problem solved! Trying to dislodge the intruder doesn't work, a suggestion to use the pool next door has no allure, a game of fetch is ignored, even a fishing pole does not help.

When he runs out of ideas for enticing the whale away from his pool, he comes up with a perfect solution for making the best of the situation. A call from Mom to announce it's time for a nap creates a brand new dilemma. It will take ingenuity, but I am certain this further problem will also be solved.

Front endpapers are festooned with the initial problem; at the back, we are presented with the current difficulty. The thick lines of the illustrations assure understanding and humor for a young audience.
The simple, animated text makes for ease of reading and a guaranteed return to the book for a closer look and a repeated share.

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