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on 7 May 2011
This book has wonderful illustrations, as with all Simon James' books. It is an endearing and beautiful story - how brilliant it would be to have a whale for a friend! A very imaginitive tale, and yes it does have a sad ending, but to start with my little boy thought the whale had gone to find a new friend (just like the balloon that flew out of his hand and off into the sky one day). That seemed to be perfectly acceptable to him and it is only as he has got older and more understanding of the world around him that we have started to talk about death, hunters and prey etc. Yes, it is a sad ending but we've not found it as dramatic or traumatic as the other two reviewers and the message is an important one (irrespective of the finer details as mentioned by another reviewer - it is a children's picture book after all!). I have read this with my toddler and with children up to 7 years old who have all enjoyed it and appreciated it at varying levels. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - good to read with Dear Greenpeace (another fab book but that's for a different review!..)
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on 2 March 2013
I bought it for my daughter's school reading. She love the story and read it all over again to her brother!
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on 13 October 2006
There is beautiful artwork throughout this book. It tells a wonderful story, until the last couple of pages. The boy tells you all about his wonderful friend, Whale. But at the end he tells you that his friend hasn't come back to him, not last night, nor the night before, etc. The boy is frightened Whale will never come back. That is the end.

What a booby trap this book was. It was a gift to my son for his birthday a couple of years back (he's now five). We sat down to read it, and bang! I was totally unprepared for this ending and didn't know what to say to him. Every now and then he gets the book out and wants me to read it to him. So far he hasn't asked about what the ending means and why Whale might not come back (my son isn't the type to ask much), and I don't know what I'll say when he does ask. I've kept the book because the artwork is lovely and the rest of the story is very good, but maybe it is time to bookcross this book.
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on 14 February 2013
Great book excellent for children. Children engaged in this book very well. Definitely recommend it especially for the foundation stage/ early years!
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on 5 May 2015
Lovely book with illustrations however the last 4 pages are awful. I actually wrote my own ending (a nice one) and printed and glued them on over the original text. Easily done as thankfully the text is printed on the bottom of the pages. My whale mad 3 year old would have been very upset with the original sad ending.
Please read before you give this book to your young child.
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on 16 January 2015
I'm in the camp that thinks politicisation of children's books should be avoided and that this one strays well over the edge - turning into an explicit advertisement for Greenpeace in its final pages. If you want your young children to learn about sea creatures then try the Octonauts. If you want them to learn about the pros and cons of hunting whales then I am sure there are suitable child friendly educational materials out there. Either way look elsewhere than to this book.
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on 25 September 2003
A lovely book until you get to the end (with your young child) where a boy's love of his anthropomorphised whale ends with it disappearing, never to return, as a result of it being killed by whalers.
The stark back page ignores implied facts (like blue whales are not generally targeted, minky whales are) and tries to force the parent into making ill considered generalisations in order to pacify their upset child.
If you want to promote a sense of empathy with wildlife through books, as I do, please don't choose this cynical, politicised, irresponsible diatribe.
At the very least, please read cover to cover before sitting your child down with it.
11 comment11 of 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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