Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: February 21st, 2017
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Blurb from goodreads:
From best-selling children's author Shelley Gill comes this colorful, rhyming board book playfully featuring whales found in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic Oceans. Toddlers will love to learn about whales swimming in the deep blue sea in this beautifully illustrated board book that shares simple whale facts in an imaginative way.
If I could be anything, do you know what I'd be? I'd be a whale in the deep blue sea.
Scooping up fishes and flipping my tail, I'd be a minke or beluga whale.
When I was pitched this book, I immediately thought of N, one of toddlers at my school. I was sure he'd like it as he's obsessed with whales and sharks, and it seemed like one most of the toddlers would like, so I said yes. Did he like it? He sure did, but it wasn't the text that caught and kept his attention, but the pictures. Most of the toddlers weren't interested after the first time I read it, just a couple of them were. When I try to read the text, N and the others take the book from me and sit and look at the illustrations. :D
The text does rhyme, as the blurb says, and the vocabulary is age-appropriate but it's dry, it doesn't engage them. As soon as I read the book, before taking it to school, I had doubts about the text. I wish I'd been wrong. That said, each page presents a different whale, including a few I'd never heard of, with their name and a few lines about them. The narwhal page is B's favorite, he loves looking at the horns while N really likes the blue whale's page.
The illustrations are calm and soothing with just enough detail for accuracy but not so much as to be busy or overwhelming. My toddlers who like the book will gaze at the pages and point to what they see and like.
Overall, "If I Were A Whale" is the toddler equivalent of a coffee table book - lovely to look at but not much for actually reading. Still, it does quietly introduce children to different whales and provide some facts so it's a nice first reference book.