If You Want To See A Whale – a lovely meditation on waiting

‘If you want to see a whale,’ I read, ‘you will need…,’ ‘a window,’ shouts my youngest, nearly jumping off the bed in her excitement.

‘A window,’ shouts my youngest, nearly jumping off the bed in her excitement.  Julie Fogliano’s Where to Buy:

‘An an ocean,’ says my eldest, not wanting to be outdone.

I love Julie Fogliano’s ‘If You Want to See A Whale’, it’s been around for a little while, but it’s such a beautiful book.  Cleverly written, with those little twists of perspective that make picture books so special.  Like this one:

‘You will need a not so comfy chair because sleeping eyes can’t watch for whales, and whales won’t wait for watching.’ 

And yes, I wrote that without actually needing to open the book, we’ve read it that many times!

And this one;

‘If you want to see a whale, be careful not to notice something inching, small and green, across the leaf, just nibble scoot because things that are smaller than most small things can’t be as giant as a whale.’


That being said, initially, my girls didn’t like this one.  There wasn’t quite enough happening, maybe?  I don’t know.  It’s actually what I love about it.  The deceptively simple nature of it belies the richness of the adventure.  So I let this one wait, for a year maybe.  I brought it back out a few months ago, they are now 3 and 5 years old.  It’s now one of their favourite bedtime storybooks.  They love the story, and they adore the pictures, Erin E. Stead, has done a beautiful job, particularly on the last few pages as the girls spot the whale before the character does.

Where to Buy:


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