My grandchildren, especially my oldest grandson, love to learn about whales. Whales are fascinating mammals! As I have searched the library for whale books I found some amazing whale picture books based on actual events and scientific facts.
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Whale picture books based on true stories
All three of the following books are about actual whales that were rescued by scientists and their helpers. I love to find picture books based on true stories! These three whale picture books are probably best for ages 6 and up. Younger children with an interest in whales may still enjoy them. They might be a little long for their attention span, but you can always tell the story in your own words using the illustrations in the book.
The Spirit Of Springer: The Real-Life Rescue Of An Orphaned Orca by Amanda Abler
In 2002 a mystery orca calf was found swimming alone in Puget Sound near Seattle. Scientists identified the oraca as a Springer, a calf from a pod of orcas that live off the Coast of British Columbia. A team of scientists work to capture her, care for her then release her near home and family pod. The watercolor illustrations by Levi Hastings are amazing and add to the beauty of this story. There are five illustrated pages at the end that give more details about Springer, her family and other orcas.
The Spirit Of Springer may take a little longer to read than the other books listed. If you read it straight through it will take about 10 minutes. When we read it, it took a little longer because my grandkids had questions. There are some very interesting things to talk about in this book!
Humphrey The Lost Whale: A True Story by Wendy Tokuda
In 1985 Humphrey, a humpback whale, swam into the San Francisco Bay then couldn’t find his way back to the ocean. Instead of swimming back to the sea he swam up the Sacramento River. Hundreds of people came to see Humphrey in the river. Scientists knew they needed to get Humphrey back to the ocean soon or he would die. This story tells of the great effort people made to help save Humphrey. At the end of Humphrey The Lost Whale there are extra details about Humphrey and other areas where he was spotted throughout the years.
Trapped!: A Whale’s Rescue by Robert Burleigh
Trapped! by Robert Burleigh is based on true events about a humpback whale that gets caught in nets left by crab fishermen along the California coast. A group of rescuers including divers and whale experts carefully cut the ropes and net away freeing the whale. This story is a little shorter and is written simple enough for young children to enjoy with extra details at the end older children will find interesting.
If your grandchildren enjoy learning about whales they may want to learn how to draw whales and other sea life. Have them look for Draw 50 Sharks, Whales And Other Sea Creatures by Lee J. Ames at the library or online.
If they like to draw I share some other good drawing books for kids here.
Do you need more great books or fun read aloud ideas?
I have lots of books and great ideas to share with you here!
To help you get started I have a list of 15 great read-aloud picture books you can download for free.