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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Whale in a Fishbowl, written by Troy Howell and illustrated by Richard Jones. Schwartz & Wade, Penguin Random House. 2018. $23.99 ages 4 and up

"Wednesday wondered about it all day long, and all night, too. What did the sea have that her fishbowl didn't have?

Now she couldn't sleep.
She scarcely touched her food. She no longer leaped.

Could Piper have been wrong?"

Readers will be drawn to Wednesday's plight: a whale living in a fishbowl in the center of an urban landscape. Life has always been the same for her. Passersby are too often unaware of her presence as they bustle about their day.

One day she leaps upward and sees a blue she has never seen in her life. It is beyond the city that is her home, and she feels an affinity toward it. She does not know why. She does, however, feel its power and begins breaching more and more often in an effort to keep it in her sights. The people passing by think she is performing tricks for their entertainment. One small child, Piper, is more astute. She knows that Wednesday does not belong where she is, and she tells the whale just exactly that when she visits with her one day. 

What about the sea? Why is it so special? One foggy morning, when Wednesday can no longer see the blue she so loves, she experiences acute sadness. Taking another leap, higher than ever before, her tail tips the bowl and the water carries her past the gray city environs and into the 'glorious, breathtaking blue.'

Wednesday has found 'home'!

"She plunged into it.
She swam and swam and swam.
She skimmed and soared,
spouted and dived.
She turned somersaults.
She swam strong and far and deep."

Beautifully written and illustrated, this is a story for children to love and to listen to again and again.

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