Have you seen the latest nonfiction picture book by April Pulley Sayre, Here Come the Humpbacks, illustrated by Jamie Hogan, coming out this week? The story starts with mother humpback whale giving birth to a baby in the balmy waters of the Caribbean Sea. When the calf is old enough, they migrate north to the New England coast so the mother can get food, and then back to the Caribbean. Along their migration route the whales encounter many dangers, both natural and human made.
In what might become a trend, the book is laid out with the primary narrative lyrically told on the left page of a two-page spread, and more traditional expository nonfiction text in sidebars (italicized) on the right page, filling in the details and defining the vocabulary. It is like two books woven together, which gives so many options for reading.
The pastel illustrations on textured paper are an absolutely perfect accompaniment. Some of the pages are drenched in underwater darkness, others shimmer with light and action.
Seems like a lot more attention has been paid to the humpback whales in the Pacific that migrate from Hawaii to Alaska. Sayre’s focus on the movement of Atlantic whales brings them closer to home for folks on the East Coast and increases the readers awareness that whales occur worldwide.
Here Come the Humpbacks would be a wonderful choice for a trip to the beach, to an aquarium and best of all, for a warm-up to a whale-watching tour. It will be perfect for units on marine mammals, as well.
Check out Growing With Science for related whale science activities and links.
Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing (February 1, 2013)
Book provided by publisher for review purposes.
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