A nonfiction picture book, The Blue Whale draws children into the life and world of this enormous whale by situating facts within a familiar context that is fun and engaging. Here, readers are given the actual size of an eye right on the page, and we are informed how understand this whale's body size in relation to trucks, cars, milk bottles, and hippos! With an accurate and engaging text, fully vetted by a blue whale expert, and lyrically lovely illustrations, The Blue Whale is a book that invites children in and holds their attention. Its tempo is like a pleasing melody, which means that the information never becomes too weighty or exhausting—a key thing when it comes to young readers and their enjoyment of a book!
A graduate of the renowned MA children's book illustration program at the Cambridge School of Art (ARU), Jenni Desmond works from her studio in London, England. She uses collage, paint, and pencil crayons to create her artwork, which she then scans and edits by computer. Jenni strives to make her illustrations entertaining, beautiful, and funny in equal measure. Her first picture book Red Cat Blue Cat (Blue Apple Books, 2012) won the Cambridgeshire Read it Again Picture Book Award 2013, and she has shown her artwork in many exhibitions in the United Kingdom, including the Royal Academy of Art Summer Exhibition.
A Huffington Post Honorable Mention in "Best Deep Dive" Category.
On the New York Public Library's List of 100 Books for Reading & Sharing
A 2016-2017 Red Clover Award nominee for the state of Vermont.
“While excellent nonfiction allows readers to learn something completely new, it also has the ability to make readers see something familiar with fresh eyes. The Blue Whale does exactly that. . . You think you know blue whales. Poor thing. You have much to learn. Start with this book.”
—Travis Jonker, School Library Journal
“whale lovers will breach with happiness over this rich, artful mix of fact and frolic.”
-- Kirkus Reviews
★“Desmond discusses the whale’s size, how it eats, and its various capabilities, in sentences that seem destined to leave readers’ jaws permanently dropped . . . A thorough, rewarding tribute to a majestic animal.”
-- STARRED REVIEW, Publishers Weekly
“Filled with strikingly beautiful watercolor illustrations, the book shows what impossible fun it would be to hang out in such close proximity to the majestic blue whale.”
-- Abby McGanney Nolan, The Washington Post
“This is one of those nonfiction books whose facts somehow make me cry. It’s partly the set up in the author’s note that blue whales are few in number due to human activity, from hunting to pollution. But it’s not just that. It’s the way this material is handled—from how the text is constructed to the dreamy illustrations.” —This Picture Book Life
“Jenni Desmond celebrates in the marvelous nonfiction children’s book The Blue Whale — a loving science lullaby about our planet’s biggest creature, and a beautiful addition to the finest children’s books celebrating science.” —Brain Pickings
“A work of nonfiction that understands that true expertise is born out of curiosity. Filtering the storyline through one inquisitive young child, Desmond joyfully presents facts about the earth's largest mammal in a manner that is both accessible and engaging, and will definitely spark the reader's curiosity.” —Huffington Post
"Fascinating information about this giant whale is passed on through spectacular drawings comparing the whale's bigness to the child's smallness. The book is both fun and full of surprising information about this wonderful creature." —Vermont Country Sampler