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The whale, the sea and the stars
2019
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Summary

When Gerda the blue whale was very small, her mother would sing a beautiful song telling her that if she were ever lost she should look to the stars and they would guide her.

Then it's time for the little whale to leave home. Her adventures take her from the warm waters of the equator to the freezing poles.

Along the way she meets clever killer whales, playful penguins, a friendly polar bear and the ancient narwhale. Then one day, the little whale realizes she wants to find somewhere to stay forever. How will she know she's found the right sea for her? With her mother's song in her heart, Gerda follows the stars to a place she knows she can call home.

This heartwarming story, rendered through luminous, captivating illustrations full of texture and feeling, promises we will find our way if we listen to our hearts.

Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 1--A young whale searches the oceans to find her true home. Gerda and her brother Lars live contentedly with their parents, leaping, splashing and swimming together. One day when Gerda is old enough she sets out on her own to see the world and find her true home, buoyed by her mother's song that tells her to "follow her heart." She journeys across the world, meeting all sorts of creatures on the way, until she finally discovers a place that makes her heart sing; a home where she can live happily forever. The detailed digital illustrations are overlaid with natural textures to create beautiful magical scenes on every page. The play of light in the artwork is captivating, seen in the pink and golden glow of a sunrise or as incandescent beams illuminate an icy cave deep underwater. The author uses Gerda's conversations with other creatures to move the story forward, with Gerda asking for help and learning from everyone she meets along her journey. Some of the creatures that she encounters are allegorical cautions against gossip, greed, and frivolity, while others simply help her find her way. Throughout, the story lines from the "old whale song" that Gerda's mother sang remind her to keep searching and offer encouragement whenever she falters. VERDICT Idyllic and soothing, this is a perfect choice for an older storytime or for one-on-one bedtime sharing.--Laken Hottle, Providence Community Library
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