Rachel Bright and Jim Field, the illustrator/author duo behind the picture books The Koala Who Could and The Lion Inside, have teamed up again to create another wonderful read with a very important lesson.
Humphrey the whale is searching for something. He doesn’t know exactly what but he is sure that he will find it as he goes about collecting all sorts of treasures and trinkets from the ocean. Whilst his finds briefly fill him with happiness, it isn’t long before he feels empty again and heads off in search of something else. He seems destined for an unfulfilled life of collecting until he stumbles on the most beautiful of coral reefs. It looks ripe for the picking and collecting of more stuff but a brave crab is determined to stop Humphrey's collecting ways and has some life-changing advice that could help Humphrey find what he has really been searching for…
So much to love in this charming underwater adventure that gently asks readers to question where happiness is truly found. Is it In having possessions and the latest gadgets and gizmos or can it be found in something else? The Whale Who Wanted More provides the perfect platform for this question and I would love to hear children’s thoughts both before and after reading the book.
At first, it appears that Humphrey will never have enough in his life and no amount of possessions will ever fill the void that he feels. But with some helpful advice, some soul-searching and some deep-thinking, he is able to truly understand what he has been searching for and learns what really matters in life. Being part of a community, having close friendships and feeling as though you belong are far more valuable than treasures from the ocean. These are such meaningful and important lessons for children of all ages.
In addition to the valuable moral lesson there is a subtle yet strong environmental message linked to the damage that humans are causing to the ocean as Humphrey collects the flotsam and jetsam that has been discarded.
Rachel Bright has written another beautiful and captivating rhyming story where lines of text flow seamlessly with not a single word feeling forced or out of place. Jim Field’s illustrations are a thing of beauty and I love the contrast between the dull and lonely world that Humphrey inhabits and the colourful, vibrant world of the thriving coral reef ecosystem.
In a world of consumerism, this is a touching reminder of what really matters in life. “So perhaps true contentment is not about stuff…Since we all need so little to have quite enough.” As Humphrey eventually learns, less is most definitely more!
Recommended for 4+.