May 21, 2015
Here Come the Humpbacks by April Pulley Sayre, illustrated by Jamie Hogan
Here Come the Humpbacks
by April Pulley Sayre
illustrated by Jamie Hogan
In every ocean on Earth, humpback whales swim through the waters. Here comes a humpback — a baby whale being born. The reader follows this calf and its mother from the quiet waters of the Caribbean where a male escort whale accompanies the pair.
First the escort whales and the other adults with no calves leave. then finally the mother and her calf swim north. Past Delaware and New York they swim toward Canada where they find the feeding grounds as well as hungry orca.
I can’t really tell you everything without simply summarizing the book spread by spread. Sayre’s does a great job detailing the lives of the giant sea creatures. She tells how they are born, what they eat, how they feed, and what is dangerous to them.
I like to read about whales but this book still included information I didn’t know. The whales that scientists once thought were aunts and grandmothers helping raise the calf are actually male escorts waiting for the female to be ready to mate.
If you have a younger reader, stick with the main text on each spread. It will tell you a complete humpback story. If you have an older reader or one who is major whale enthusiast, you can also read the sidebars — details about the whales written in smaller script. That said, you could also read the sidebars without the main text. Either way, your young reader will learn quite a bit about whales.
Jamie Hogan used charcoal and pastels on sanded paper to create illustrations that combine soft, slightly blurred lines with saturated color.
Share this book with your class if you are studying ecosystems or whales. Share it if you are learning about animal babies or migration. This is definitely a top choice to share with eager, young minds.