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This question was answered on Fri 17, Mar 2017 08:12am by sallievern

Question: [ANSWERED] Girl, grandmother, whales

Home » Children's Books » #21079

Asked by bela_the_horse on Wed 15, Mar 2017 10:30pm :
I remember this one really well;  I read it a few years ago, just can't
remember what it's called. Lily's grandmother tells her about hearing
whales sing at night; at the end, Lily goes out alone at night to listen to
them. Lily has long, dark curly hair and big dark eyes. The illustrations
were all very dark but very pretty, with stars and waves, and Lily's face
was very realistic and smooth. It's probably called Lily and the Whales or
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Answer by sallievern on Fri 17, Mar 2017 08:12am:
"The Whale's Song by Dyan Sheldon
" Lilly's grandmother tells tales of singing whales who came from miles
away in answer to a child's desire to see them dance across the waves. One
night, Lilly hears the whales and watches breathlessly as they "leaped and
jumped and spun across the moon." Then, waking from what she thinks is a
dream, she hears them call her name. Sheldon's brief story seems to be a
celebration of the joys of fantasy and the belief in magical happenings. It
is enriched by Blythe's wonderfully evocative paintings, which range from
warm, realistic close-up portraits to dramatically moonlit seascapes. But
beyond the pleasures of the dreamlike mood, the book has little substance.
There is no deeper level of meaning, no foundation is offered for the idea
that whales are magical, and certainly in the dolphinlike behavior of the
whales there is no information on the actual habits and habitats of these
wondrous creatures of the deep"

"In this haunting, evocative picture book, Lilly's grandmother tells her
that, when she was young, she used to leave gifts for the whales--"a
perfect shell. Or a beautiful stone. And if they liked you, the whales
would take your gift and give you something in return." Lilly's great-uncle
Frederick claims that the story is "nothing but a silly old tale," that she
shouldn't "be dreaming her life away." But one morning, Lilly, believing
her grandmother's claim that "they were the most wondrous creatures you
could ever imagine," drops a yellow flower into the water. " 'This is for
you,' she called into the air," and later that night she sits waiting, like
a mermaid on a rock, finally receiving a gift in return. Filling the night
with their song, the whales call Lilly's name. Infused with the cadences of
real speech, Sheldon's poetic text manages to overlay a homespun
practicality with an ethereal, fairy-tale magic. The unique grandeur and
beauty of these creatures, "as peaceful as the moon," are compellingly
interwoven throughout the narrative. Newcomer Blythe's paintings are
extraordinary. The play of light and shadow in his cozy interiors is
delicately balanced against stunningly realistic faces--Lilly's purity and
innocence, her elders' splendidly craggy countenances. Rendered in unusual
perspectives, these vibrant panoramas of the sea and of the whales leaping
from the moonlit water possess a rare luminosity and beauty that should not
be missed"

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Comment by bela_the_horse on Thu 16, Mar 2017 05:26am:
Thank you! This is one of my favorites;  I just couldn't remember the
name at all. :)


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