Today I have a rather special book to review: The Children and the Whale by Daniel Frost, published by Little Gestalten.
What it’s about:
There is an animal in the nearby waters that is six times the size of a house and has a heart as big as a boat, yet no one knows where it roams. This is a place where the waters are vast and deep, the skies breathe magic, and two lost siblings find an unlikely friend.
The sheer physicality of this book when you first hold it is impressive: it’s a matte hardback and the rich blue of the covers draws you in, as does the cover image. This beauty continues throughout the inner pages: Daniel Frost uses a palette that reflects the environment in which the book is set but which also is somehow soothing despite the mystery of the story of a giant whale whose whereabouts are never known, but whose presence is uncertain. Is it dangerous (intentionally or otherwise)? Why does it hide?
Cuno and his little sister Aia are perfect explorers, determined to discover the truth about this mammal. Aia’s cheerfulness is offset against Cuno’s quiet determination and the frustration he feels about having his boisterous sibling with him on his adventure. All the children I read this book to were completely involved in the story – suggesting possible outcomes and endings. I can’t reveal much more in case I spoil it for you but this is a great story that belong in the long history of fables and folk tales.