Synopses & Reviews
and#160; All day, Whale swims through the ocean, wearing a poster advertising the big upcoming art exhibition. He visits the eel who wriggles abstract patterns in the sand, the squid who paints with ink, and the hammerhead shark who builds sculptures from salvage. Whale sees his friendsand#8217; confidence and creativity and wishes he could be an artist too, but he doesnand#8217;t know what to make and insists heand#8217;s too ungainly to create art. Then one day, with the unexpected help of some bioluminescent plankton, he discovers his own distinct point of view and talent.
From the award-winning author-illustrator of What Animals Really Like, hailed by School Library Journal as and#147;sublime silliness,and#8221; comes another inspiring tale about defying expectation and finding the artist within.
Praise for Whale Shines
"At its core, Robinsonand#8217;s (What Animals Really Like) story is a tried and true tale of a wallflower realizing his potential. But her understated, offbeat voice and visualsand#151;a mashup of classicism and graphic novel sensibilitiesand#151;makes this a standout: up-to-the-minute modern in its irreverence and offhandedness, yet timeless in its understanding of a characterand#8217;s yearning."
and#151;Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Sharp contrasts between light and dark are beautiful."
"Children will embrace and understand the sincere, undervalued message of art as substantive and a way to and#147;share oneand#8217;s world.and#8221; This inspiring tale of artistic collaboration between the whale and bioluminescent plankton will be shared again and again."
and#151;School Library Journal
"The watercolor and pencil art makes excellent use of the spreadsand#8217; wide horizontality; while the art projects and, indeed, the underwater world are on the literal side for such an artistic-themed story, thereand#8217;s a murky charm to life in the briny deep... Whatand#8217;s particularly appealing here is the casual inclusion of a wide variety of approaches to art, making this an entertaining lead-in to art projects, especially those involving the natural world."
and#151;Bulletin of The Center for Childrenand#8217;s Books
"Whale, who makes Eeyore look positively effervescent, has been hired to serve as a cetacean billboard calling for entries to 'The Hugest Art Show in the Deep & Briny.' Everyone from Eel to Wrasse takes up the challenge with the avidity of RISD students on Red Bull ('I'll use these corals as part of my living sculpture at the art show. The audience will love it!' exclaims Wrasse) while Whale looks on with envy: 'I wish I could make something too, but I'm just in advertising.' What Whale needs is a muse, and he gets a bunch of them in the form of bioluminescent phytoplankton, who help him create a performance piece that becomes a sensation. At its core, Robinson's (What Animals Really Like) story is a tried and true tale of a wallflower realizing his potential. But her understated, offbeat voice and visuals a mashup of classicism and graphic novel sensibilities makes this a standout: up-to-the-minute modern in its irreverence and offhandedness, yet timeless in its understanding of a character's yearning. Ages 4 8. Agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
When the National Animal Choir performs the latest song by renowned composer and conductor Mr. Herbert Timberteeth, nothing goes exactly as planned. Mr. Timberteeth has some preconceived notions of what animals like to do that are reflected in his song. But it turns out that lions prefer flower arranging to prowling and shrimp would rather ski than swim! With all the dissension and mayhem, will the show still go on? This hilarious picture book delivers a subtle message about stereotyping that kids, who are so often pigeonholed, will appreciate.
Awards and Praise for What Animals Really Like
2012 Winner of the Irma S. Black and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children's Literature
andquot;Robinson's story will keep children giggling at the beaverandrsquo;s frustrated reactions and the animalsandrsquo; unpredictable preferences. Encore!andquot;
andquot;Guffaws and surprising twists will have youngsters clamoring for a repeat performance. Brava!andquot;
Fast-paced, full-color, and divided into short, easy-to-read chapters, this is a wonderful graphic novel for younger readers, offering a seamless transition between picture books and novels.
On the 3:23 Express to Whiska City, five unlikely friends meet and decide to form a detective agency. There is Jenny the wise donkey, Roger the gourmet dung beetle, Priscilla the theatrical penguin, Slingshot the hyperactive sloth, and Bluebell, the shy but brave rat. With little training but a lot of pluck, they set up shop in Whiska City and soon tackle their first mystery: a rash of disappearances linked to a pink poodleand#8217;s beauty salon.
FandP level: T
About the Author
Fiona Robinson is the author-illustrator of The Useful Moose: A Truthful, Moose-full Tale. Publishers Weekly praised her and#147;flair for humor tinged with heart.and#8221; Her work has been honored by the Royal Academy of Arts and been featured in many gallery shows. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.