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Dario and the Whale Hardcover – March 1, 2016
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Every spring, Dario and his mom move from Brazil to the beach at Cape Cod so that his mom can work. Dario is having a hard time making friends, not quite knowing how to join in the sandy fun with the other children. He is thrilled to see a young whale one day, swimming off of the coastline. The whale is also very curious about the boy. An immediate bond is formed, and the two visit daily, communicating with whistles, spouts, waves, and breaches. One day, Dario gets the sniffles and his mom orders him to bed until he is well. He is worried that his whale will have migrated before he gets to see him again, but Dario gets his chance to say goodbye. Set in sunny Cape Cod, this bright and colorful picture book is sure to catch the eye of its readers. The deep blues, greens, and yellows of the land and sea perfectly capture the warmth and happiness of the beach in springtime. The text is interesting but spare. One will gather many of the finer details of the story from the summary provided on the cover flap. Dario often speaks Portuguese, and readers will be introduced to words and phrases in the language. At the end of the story, Malone tells of her real-life encounter with a baby right whale. She also provides a wealth of information about these whales. VERDICT This book will spark rich conversation on a broad range of topics.—Amy Shepherd, St. Anne's Episcopal School, Middleton, DE
"This moving story delivers an up-close look at a right whale calf, told against the breathtaking paintings of sea, sky, and beach." Booklist Online, March 10, 2016
"This delightful story is based on the author's actual experience on Cape Cod. The illustrations are delicately lovely, the simple backgrounds allowing readers to focus on the action and expressive main characters. A helpful note about right whales concludes the book. A heartwarming paean to long walks along the beach." Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2016
"Set in sunny Cape Code, this bright and colorful picture book is sure to catch the eye of its readers. The deep blues, greens, and yellow of the land and sea perfectly capture the warmth and happiness of the beach in springtime. This book will spark rich conversations on a broad range of topics." School Library Journal, February 2016
"The fleeting nature of this relationship soon makes itself known, but the magic of the encounter, the hope of a future meeting, and the possibility of friendship with the girl conclude the story on an uplifting note." Publishers Weekly, December 21, 2015
"The almost holy wonder of looking into a whale's eye is sublimely captured here in Bulgarian-born Bistra Masseva's beautiful, dramatic spread showing a giant whale's head looming large, with the boy dwarfed on the shore." Shelf Awareness, starred review, March 4, 2016
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I'm going to read this with my students, many of whom are immigrants, and I'm sure it will resonate with them.