Face to Face with Whales by Flip and Linda Nicklin lives up to its title and more so. The first photograph you see is that of the face of a humpback whale. When you learn the tiny eye in the middle of the page is actually is as big as a dinner plate, your imagination is captured.
Author Flip Nicklin is a nature photographer who has spent his life catching images of whales on film, often for National Geographic. The spectacular photographs in this book attest to his talent and dedication. They are truly amazing.
But it is the story of whales told with the Nicklins’ passionate voice that is sure to stick with you. On the first page Flip describes how being in the water with a singing humpback whale actually made his bones vibrate. Wow, who would have guessed? Here is someone who was there when discoveries about whales were first being made, and tells us what he saw and heard while it was happening. His story is remarkable.
The book also comes packed with extras such as ideas how you can help whales, activities you can do to learn more about whales (such as a whale watching trip), and Facts at a Glance that include a map of the migration routes of common whales. I was particularly interested in the Research and Photography Notes, where Flip gives away some of his secrets to getting close-up photographs of whales.
Although Amazon list this as ages 4-8, placing it in the picture book category, I would say it was closer to middle grade based on density of text and content. Any child who is interested in the ocean and whales is going to love Face to Face with Whales.
Reading level: Ages 4-8 (Amazon)
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (August 24, 2010)
Also from this series is: Face to Face with Wolves
Books were provided for review purposes.
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