Before Ramadan, we were exploring the One Small Square series, but we took a break to review The Lonely Scarecrow. Let's stay sidetracked for a little while longer. Have you read Trapped! A Whale's Rescue, yet? No, well head to your local library and search the shelves, because this is a really good book! Read this review from Booklist and you'll see what I mean.
"Based on an event that took place near San Francisco in 2005, this picture book depicts a humpback whale swimming, diving, and feeding freely until she becomes entangled in abandoned, drifting nets. Her struggles draw the ropes tighter until, trapped, she stops and lies still. Boats bring rescuers to the scene. Five divers cut the lines, one by one, until the whale can swim again. "She moves among the cheering rescuers, softly nudging each one, as if saying thanks." The whale breaches and swims away. In Minor's beautifully composed gouache paintings, the whale is a silent but enormously empathetic character. Several appended pages offer more information about the actual event, whale rescues in general, and humpback whales in particular. Adults reading the book aloud may want to introduce words such as spyhop, lobtail, fluke, and krill before beginning, to avoid breaking the cadence of the writing once the story is underway. Like the stately illustrations, the precise prose has a dignity that is worthy of its subject and unusual in a picture book for preschool and primary-grade children. Although the episode of the whale's entrapment and release is short, it will linger in young listeners' minds long after the book is closed."
The prose and tone of this book very effectively take the reader under the water, and readers will very likely hold their breath, feel a burst of concern as the whale struggles, and cheer when the whale is freed.
And the paintings...well...subhanallaah...they are just as strong and as captivating as the prose. Have a look (But you will really need to check this book out to appreciate its strength and beauty):
We will return to our review of the One Small Square series (maybe - if other great books keep coming to my attention, we may not make it back to One Small Square!) in the future in shaa' Allaah.
**A note of caution: In the back of the book, there are pages that give more information about whales and, unfortunately, in the "Did You Know" section there is a sentence that is unislaamic; it is shirk, so children should not be allowed to read this section alone.
Until the next book in shaa' Allaah