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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Bowhead Whale, written by Joanasie Karpik and illustrated by Sho Uehara. Inhabit Media, 2017. $15.95 ages 8 and up

"Bowhead whales have the thickest blubber of any whale. A bowhead whale's layer of blubber is about 17 to 19 inches (about 43 to 48 centimetres) thick. This helps them stay warm in the cold waters of the Arctic. Bowhead whales live a very long time. Some bowhead whales still have stone harpoon tips embedded. Stone harpoons were used by Inuit hunters long ago ... "

This is the newest book in Inhabit Media's excellent Animals Illustrated series. I wish I had had them to use when I was working in early years classrooms on animal research. They are written with young readers in mind, and provide a perfect amount of material to inform them about the animals they choose to study.

Detailed, engaging illustrations on the endpapers are inviting and encourage kids to get quickly into the book. The table of contents allows choice in subject right from the start. Kids interested in diet, communication, predators, or babies can find said subjects immediately, and move on to other facts at a later time. There is just enough information provided to impress without overwhelming. The cool blues of the ocean environment and the ever-changing perspectives in the images shared by the illustrator will hold interest. There is much to learn here.

The fact that this book comes from a publishing house based in the Arctic adds to the appeal. The creators know the land and the animals, evidenced in the quality of the book itself. Following a familiar format to others in the series, and providing facts concerning a particular animal, their length is just right. Readers will appreciate the addition of fun facts to bring the book to its conclusion.

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