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The Resource The stranded whale, Jane Yolen ; illustrated by Melanie Cataldo

The stranded whale, Jane Yolen ; illustrated by Melanie Cataldo

Label
The stranded whale
Title
The stranded whale
Statement of responsibility
Jane Yolen ; illustrated by Melanie Cataldo
Creator
Contributor
Author
Illustrator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Tender and heartrending, Jane Yolen's clear-eyed tale of a child's effort to rescue a beached whale evokes a fierce love of wildlife and a universal sense of loss. Sally and her brothers are walking home from school along the dunes in their Maine town when they come upon an enormous whale. He's stranded on the beach. Her brother runs for help, and many people rally to respond, but the tide is going out quickly and the whale is just so big. Still, Sally is able to sit near the whale's massive eye and tell him he's beautiful and strong, and that she will miss him no matter what happens
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Illustration
Review
  • Gr 1 – 4 — While walking home from school along the Maine coast, Sally and her two brothers see a beached whale. With the tide ebbing, they rush to wet down the animal's tail and fins. After Josh runs to summon help, adult volunteers and Coast Guard members arrive. Efforts to move the whale prove futile. As Sally talks to it, the animal lets out "a huge sigh like the wind off the ocean" and dies. When a Coast Guard man present medals to the children, Sally expresses the irony to herself. "So, the whale died and we were heroes." Yolen masterfully conveys both the urgency of Sally's rush to save the whale and her anger and sorrow at its death. An author's note explains her decision to set the story in 1971, when lack of cell phones would delay the arrival of both helpers and broadcasters. She also discusses possible reasons for beachings, which usually end with the whale's death. Cataldo's paintings employ the grays, steel blues, and browns of a northern coastline. Clothing colors are also muted, and daylight gives way to evening, adding to the low-key and pensive mood. VERDICT This poignant story reminds readers that despite human efforts, not all living beings can be saved and honestly portrays the frustration and sadness that can result. A thought-provoking choice.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University Library, Mankato --Kathy Piehl (Reviewed June 1, 2015) (School Library Journal, vol 61, issue 6, p96)
  • It is 1971, and a girl named Sally and her brothers are walking home across the sand dunes of their Maine town when she sees "this big gray thing, humped on the drying sand." It's a beached gray whale, which Sally attempts to help by soaking her sweater in the ocean and squeezing water over the unmoving animal. Debut artist Cataldo's grainy, ash-toned oil and pencil illustrations emphasize the physical enormity of the dying whale, as well as the children's desperation and helplessness. Though neighbors arrive with buckets and attempt to push the whale toward the receding tide, it becomes clear that their efforts are to no avail: "I was too mad to cry. Mad at the unforgiving ocean, rushing away from shore. Mad at our short arms and the whale's long body." Even after being praised by the community for her efforts, the girl refuses to relinquish her anger. It's an achingly sad story about accepting the limits of one's power, delivered with lyricism and poise. Ages 5–9. Author's agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. (July) --Staff (Reviewed August 3, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 31, p)
  • A whale stranding becomes the occasion for a sad life lesson. Discovering a beached whale on the shore near their Maine home, Sally and her brothers, aided by the Coast Guard, do all they can to save it, without success. Yolen wisely sets her story in 1971, a time uncomplicated by cellphones or hovering parents. Sally's straightforward account is set in short lines on the double-page spreads. Through her voice, readers hear the surprise of their first encounter, the desperation of their efforts, their disappointment, and her anger and regret. Using digital and oil paints and pencil, debut illustrator Cataldo provides expansive seashore views and close-ups showing just a portion of the massive whale at a time. At one point readers see the whole scene in the distance as the children first did; another angle, high in the sky, shows a small Sally running toward the waves in an effort to get water to the drying whale. The darkness of the end is echoed in the dimly lit walk home, a sad family dinner, and the blue background of Sally's dream sea, which almost drowns the words of her going-to-sleep wish to have seen it "heading out to deep water, / lifting its tail, and diving deep, / and free." A moving, memorable addition to the nature collection. (author's note) (Picture book. 5-9)(Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2015)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10438093
Cataloging source
YDXCP
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Yolen, Jane
Dewey number
813.6
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
LC call number
PZ
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 1
  • 4
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Cataldo, Melanie
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Whales
  • Brothers and sisters
  • Children and death
  • Whales
  • Animal rescue
Target audience
juvenile
Label
The stranded whale, Jane Yolen ; illustrated by Melanie Cataldo
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • still image
  • text
Content type code
  • sti
  • txt
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Control code
000055039101
Dimensions
24 x 27 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
1 volume (unpaged)
Isbn
9780763669539
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
colour illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)900179975
Label
The stranded whale, Jane Yolen ; illustrated by Melanie Cataldo
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • still image
  • text
Content type code
  • sti
  • txt
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Control code
000055039101
Dimensions
24 x 27 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
1 volume (unpaged)
Isbn
9780763669539
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
colour illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)900179975

Library Locations

    • Lionel Bowen Library and Community CentreBorrow it
      669-673 Anzac Parade, Marouba, NSW, 2035, AU
      -33.938111 151.237977
    • Margaret Martin LibraryBorrow it
      Level 1, Royal Randwick Shopping Centre, Randwick, NSW, 2031, AU
      -33.9151421 151.2408898
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