The Fisherman and the Whale

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The Fisherman and the Whale
Written and illustrated by Jessica Lanan
May 14, 2019, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

A fisherman takes his son for a trip out on the water. When they encounter a whale entangled at sea, they realize a connection that transcends the animal kingdom.

The day’s events are wordlessly and beautifully conveyed in watercolor and gouache … This impressive and eloquent tale is recommended for all picture book collections

★ School Library Journal, Starred Review

The highly dramatic paintings, employing a palette of blues, browns and grays, are sure to stimulate a range of emotions, encouraging readers to return again and again … This wordless picture book, with its breathtaking paintings of the sea, does a splendid job of helping young readers realize that our planet must be shared.

★ Shelf Awareness, Starred Review

Lanan tells her wordless tale in strong, confident watercolors…[her] cinematic storytelling pace never flags. She distills the global problem of sea life trapped by nets into a tightly focused narrative in which those who caused the damage are able to save the animal they hurt.

-Publishers Weekly

Lanan’s wordless narrative pulls viewers right into the choppy waves of her gouache-and-watercolor world… This compelling fictional introduction raises awareness and empathy for a very real environmental problem.

-Kirkus Reviews

Lanan’s watercolor and gouache paintings are expansive and cinematic as she takes readers under the water; gives us aerial views; and, in a moment of profound connection just before the man frees the whale, paints on the verso the pupil of the man’s eye reflecting the whale and, on the recto, the pupil of the whale’s eye reflecting the two humans. While there is occasional spot art, most spreads are full-bleed and place readers right at the center of the action…. a compelling tale worth sharing.

-The Horn Book

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