“The Storm Whale” is the first instalment of Benji Davies’ world of the storm whale, but we got it second. Little gosling had taken to look at the back cover of “The storm whale in winter” (I wrote about it here), which featured thumbnail images of the other books and asked whether we had them. As such, it received a very enthusiastic welcome when it arrived in the mail and it is reserved for reading by little gosling exclusively :P. Can’t get my hands on it anymore.
It is an endearing story of lonely Noi taking care of a little whale he finds washed ashore on the beach next to his house following a storm and befriending it, until he returns it to the sea together with his father. Beautiful illustrations, in warm, touching colours, of the coastline and the sea accompany the story. Noi teaches kids about kindness, gentleness and helpfulness; he is so thoughtful with the little whale, taking it home and into his bathtub, where he plays records of water music and tells it stories of life on the island. His longing for a friend is beautifully reflected in both text and illustrations (he can’t stop painting whales). His dad also does a great job in handling the situation. The result is a moving reflection of a loving dad-son relationship. I particularly love the images of their time spent together: a picnic in a vantage point on the coast, from where Noi can enjoy the bread and jam sandwich his dad prepared and watch the whales.
Little gosling keeps looking for the lighthouse on each page. He likes the domestic images, carefully observing Noi’s dad preparing the sandwiches and identifying the different items. And, funny story, his little brain started thinking about plurals on this book. He opens the double page with the little whale in the bathtub and starts counting the Nois (one, two three Noi) and the bathtubs: one cada, two “cadas”, using the English plural on the Romanian word. I’m so looking forward to the language mix-up he’s bound to do in the next years, cause it sounds so funny and original :))).