This a fictional retelling of the day in which a whale swam up the River Thames. Michael spots this whale on the shores, he is worried as he knows whales should not be in the river and thinks the experience must be a dream. The whale however comes with a plea and a warning, explaining that humans must correct the damage they have already done to the world or the world will not last. Michael promises to retell this warning to others. Within a few hours rescuers are desperately to get the whale back to open waters, Michael joins them to try and help his new friend beat the receding tide.
This book caught my eye because of the absolutely gorgeous illustrations that it holds, Christian Birmingham really brings this book to life with the images that go through this story. They captivate and promote emotional and match the detailed writings of Morpurgo.
This story is based around the real life events of 2006 when a Northern Bottlenose Whale arrived in the River Thames, we all know how that story sadly ends and this story does not bend away from the truth. It was still heart-breaking even though I knew it was coming. The detail, emotion and friendship that Morpurgo writes, tugs on the heart strings and makes you only wish that there could be a happier ending.
There is a clear message within this story, the whale has traveled all that way for a purpose and that is to warn us how much damage we are doing to the world. He is putting the job in our hands, it is then our chance to make a change, to put things right and great a cleaner, safer world for all livings things. This whale sacrificed it's life in a bid to help us make the difference. This is a very powerful and clear message in the book which empowered many children in my class. With responses of 'We need to make the oceans cleaner' 'we need to save the animals' coming from around the room.
I would highly recommend this book, Michael Morpurgo's writing gets me every time but this has an especially powerful message which is important for all children to learn.
This post was written by regular reviewer Laura, get to know her here.
Image from Goodreads