Whale Trails: Before and Now
Whale Trails: Before and Now
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Annotation: A young girl helps her father, the captain of a whale boat, on a whale-watching trip and relates how her ancestors hunted whales in the same waters, includes information on the history of whaling, whale-watching, and the conservation movement to ensure the safety of whales.
Catalog Number: #127473
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Copyright Date: 2015
Edition Date: 2015
Illustrator: Karas, G. Brian,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-8050-9642-6
ISBN 13: 978-0-8050-9642-2
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2014023854
Dimensions: 21 x 29 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
"My father and I live for the sea," begins this picture book, in which an African American girl and her father carry on a family tradition of looking for whales. Today, they take passengers out on their whale-watch boat. In the old days, their ancestors crewed ships that hunted whales. Narrated by the girl, the text on one side of each spread tells of the whale-watch boat, on which she is her father's first mate. On the facing page, she tells of life aboard a New England whaling ship perhaps 200 years ago. Each narrative line climaxes with a whale sighting, though the outcomes are very different. An interesting author's note is appended. In gouache, acrylic, and pencil artwork, Karas offers engaging illustrations of both time periods. Depicting scenes at sea and along the dock, the paintings of modern times use full color, while the related scenes set in bygone days are limited to sepia tones and black. The contrast is quite effective. A captivating and informative picture book with an intriguing dual focus.
Horn Book
A young African American girl narrates New England whaling history by contrasting the mission and quality of life for whalers of times past with a trip aboard her father's whale-watching ship. Karas's detailed illustrations inform flashback scenes with sepia tones while maintaining visual connections to the present day. An intriguing first introduction to whaling, with an informative author's note. Reading list, websites. Glos.
School Library Journal
Gr 13 A young girl and her father are first mate and captain, respectively, on a family-owned whale-watching vessel, the Cuffee . She explains that prior generations of her family were whalers. From that point on, the story moves back and forth between the past and present. "Before now," the girl says, "children were taught whales were dangerous sea creatures that devoured our fish supply and were good only for their baleen and blubber." Now, passengers view pictures of the whales that they might see on daily sightseeing trips. In the old days, whalers left in the summer and hunted whales in warmer waters. Nowadays, passengers "set sailwhen the weather cools and the whales are everywhere feeding on copepods, sand lance, and krill." In the past, "this pier was lined with shops of shipbuilders, candle makers, blacksmiths, and sail makers." Today, the pier by the dock "is lined with booths that sell souvenirs, sunglasses, binoculars, and sunscreen." The book further explains the various tools whalers used, their life on board ship, and the products harvested from captured whales. Karas effectively contrasts past and present, using sepia tones for depictions of the olden times and colorful gouache and acrylic images for portrayals of current times. Endnotes include a short glossary and further information on the whaling industry and international efforts to protect whales. Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 1,592
Reading Level: 6.2
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 6.2 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 174269 / grade: Lower Grades
Guided Reading Level: P
Fountas & Pinnell: P

"My father and I live for the sea. He is the captain of the Cuffee Whale Boat and today I am his First Mate." Whale-watching is a hugely popular pastime: at least 13 million people take whale-watching trips each year. But in the past, whaling ships hunted these animals to use their blubber for fuel and their bones for fishing hooks. As the whale population thinned, fortunately hunting ceased. Now, whale lovers go out on boats just to get a glimpse of these giant endangered creatures. Narrated by a little girl out on the waves with her father, this is a story of marine history and the differences between then and now.


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