Whale

Whale by David Lucas.

Joe is asleep in bed when there is a sudden crash and his whole house tips sideways.  It turns out that a huge whale has beached and landed on the town.  No one knows what to do to fix the problem.  Joe asks the Owl who asks the Wind who asks the Sun and finally after a few more steps the Innumerable Stars are consulted.  And the Stars recommend that everyone sing the Rain Song.  Though there are people who don’t think it will work, they try it.  And the whale is free.  The town was still smashed to pieces until the sea creatures come to help.

The art of this book is wonderful.  It has a folksy feel to it that is warm and embracing.  I especially enjoy the pages filled with panels that move the story forward, such as the page where Joe notices the very large eye filling his window.  I also loved the size of the whale being so immense and amazing above the smashed buildings of the town. 

Lubar has written prose that goes beautifully with the art.  It has rhythm that is not intrusive but can still be clearly felt.  The device of asking the Owl, the Wind, etc. for advice ties the story to folktales, deepening the connection with the illustrative style. 

This one will fly off of library shelves due to the huge whale on the cover.  It would be a great addition to story times for Kindergartens and preschoolers on sea life, folktales, or just for fun.  This is definitely worth sharing.