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If You Want to See a Whale (Hardcover)

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If You Want to See a Whale By Julie Fogliano, Erin E. Stead (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Julie Fogliano, Erin E. Stead (Illustrator)
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1 on hand, as of May 22 10:06am

Staff Reviews

Do you want to see a whale? If so, this is the book for you—just make sure not to be distracted by the birds or the roses, or a caterpillar’s nibble scoot on a leaf, or a cloud that just looks like a whale. You must wait and watch—and then something magical will reveal itself. A whimsical, endearing tale, exquisitely imagined and delicately detailed by the creators of one of our favorite books of last year, And Then It’s Spring. For the dreamer. Ages 4 & up.

— Tera

Just like many things that are really worthwhile, seeing a whale takes an ocean view, lots of patience, and “a not-too-comfy chair… because sleeping eyes can’t watch for whales and whales won’t wait for watching.” In a world full of distractions, these pages lay out a few simple rules for staying focused on the important things. Erin Stead’s intricate pencil and color drawings are cozy and detailed all the way through, but the finale is really something.




If you want to see a whale, you will need to know what not to look at.

Pink roses, pelicans, possible pirates . . .

If you want to see a whale, you have to keep your eyes on the sea, and wait . . .

and wait . . . and wait . . .

In this quiet and beautiful picture book by Julie Fogliano and Erin E. Stead, the team that created the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor book And Then It's Spring, a boy learns exactly what it takes to catch a glimpse of an elusive whale. This title has Common Core connections.

A Neal Porter Book

A Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of 2013
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2013

About the Author

Julie Fogliano is the New York Times bestselling author of And Then It’s Spring and If You Want to See a Whale as well as the poetry collection, When Green Becomes Tomatoes. Recipient of the 2013 the Ezra Jack Keats award, her books have been translated into more than ten languages. Julie lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband and three children. When she is not folding laundry or wondering what to make for dinner, she is staring out the window waiting for a book idea to fly by.

Erin E. Stead has illustrated several children's books with her husband, Philip C. Stead. Their first picture book, A Sick Day for Amos McGee, won the Caldecott Medal. She has also illustrated And Then It's Spring (written by Julie Fogliano) and contributed to Eric Carle's What's Your Favorite Animal? The Steads divide their time between Ann Arbor, Michigan, and New York City.

Praise For…

“To find a picture book that attempts to explore the patient, persistent and solitary pursuit at the heart of creativity is unusual; to find one that succeeds in making such an abstract process comprehensible to children is extraordinary....The author-illustrator team responsible for the bestselling "And Then It's Spring" has again produced something truly unique, melding a hypnotic text with translucent, light-filled illustrations that invite young readers to climb aboard, row diligently, keep looking and experience the wonder of the journey for themselves.” —The Washington Post

“Fogliano's words are carved and measured. This is a writer who takes her time, and the leaps she makes with language surprise and thrill.” —The New York Times

“A gorgeous love song to the imagination . . . It's breathtaking . . . Fans will be waiting.” —Booklist, starred review

“Readers will gape at the two enormous, whale-sized talents at work in this transfixing picture book.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Stead’s pencil and linoleum prints—as delicate, understated, and imaginative as ever—take exciting creative license with Fogliano’s expressive writing.” —Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

“The same pair that brought us And Then It's Spring (rev. 1/12) returns with a book that has a similar overall feel but a completely different story. . . this one takes on the possibility of imagination.” —The Horn Book

“Her [Stead's] work is often a study in composition, with horizon lines recurring like a chorus, counterpointed with subtle or strong diagonals and swoops. The whale itself is legitimately humongous yet also clearly wise and benign, politely presenting itself to the presumably well-pleased whale searchers. This could be an inducement to some imaginary eyes-shut travel, or just an offbeat choice for sending kids off to dreamland.” —BCCB

Product Details
ISBN: 9781596437319
ISBN-10: 1596437316
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: May 7th, 2013
Pages: 32
Language: English