I love Jasbinder Bilan's children's books. That she and Barrington Stoke publishers are now working together is a match made in Scotland! 'Calling the Whales' is a gorgeous short tale about conservation and the threat to our oceans, perfectly illustrated by Skylar White. Jasbinder Bilan writes books that seem to make the sky bigger. 'Calling the Whales' is heartfelt, dramatic and ethereal; both intimate and expansive, with an important message to share. It's a keeper!
After rowing out to an island near their seaside home, Tulsi and Satchen discover a whale that has been trapped in a fishing net. Determined to try to free the poor creature, they repeatedly dive down into the freezing sea to cut the netting, but eventually, exhausted, a storm rolls in... Can they save the whale and themselves?
I was born and grew up in Scotland near the coast, so this little story really resonates with me. In sparse text, with beautiful illustrations, Jasbinder Bilan evokes a charming and almost spiritual connection to the ocean, and whales. Tulsi and Satchen are wonderful characters, and great role-models for other children to show how to overcome adversity to protect the environment with kindness and determination. This is a story of daring and courage, with a vital message about how we need to stop littering and polluting our oceans.
'Calling the Whales' is a little dream of a book. Charming and full of danger, vital and ethereal, it is a perfect book for reluctant or struggling readers in Upper Key Stage 2. Another brilliant title from Barrington Stoke!