CSIRO Publishing are experts in producing top-rate and intriguing non-fiction books that prompt curiosity and wonder about the natural world. The Voyage of Whale and Calf splashes into junior non-fiction in the way that only a breaching humpback whale can do.
In the moonlight shallows of the coral reef, a female humpback whale prepares to give birth. She has been pregnant for almost an entire year and in that time she has swam all the way to Antarctica, part of an incredible yearly migration. With her calf by her side, she will complete this journey again in search of rich feeding grounds. There will be dangers but together they are strong and soon it will be time for Calf to swim alone and to begin their own journey in the world…
Written by a wildlife scientist and with artwork by a natural history illustrator, it is a gorgeous non-fiction narrative that follows the annual humpback whale migration from the east and west coasts of Australia to the icy waters of Antarctica. As the where and why of migration are unpicked, we are left mesmerised by these magnificent creatures who sleep and swim simultaneously, love nothing more than playing and splashing and whose ocean home needs to be better looked after by humans.
It is a fascinating introduction to the most majestic of animals and provides a brilliant staring point that will encourage many children to research more. Packed between the most beautiful of ocean-themed endpapers - adorned with whales, penguins and sea lions - is a plethora of information that will fascinate and amaze. Plunged head-first into the world of whales, readers are rewarded with information on everything from birthing and feeding to how the calf survives its first few days in the ocean and the dangers that it faces. The incredible journey will be met with gasps of awe and wonder as readers have to get their heads around a mother that is the size of a bus, a calf that, at birth, is the size of a car and a journey that takes months and clocks up thousands of miles.
A love for whales, one that is as strong as that between mother and calf, exudes from every page and upon finishing children will know much about them and their incredible migratory habits. Back-matter includes a map of humpback whale migratory routes, ‘Whale Facts’ and a glossary. Further resources can be found in the excellent teaching notes provided by the publisher.
With huge thanks to CSIRO Publishing for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 6+.