Posted by Venus on Thursday, November 13, 2014
Labels: picture book review
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Every day, in a house by the sea, Noi watches his father leave for a long day's work and he is left alone. That is, until one night a terrible storm washes a small whale ashore. Taking the whale home, he finds it to be a very good listener, but it is impossible to keep it a secret from his father. Realizing Noi is lonely, the father helps return the whale to sea but from that day forward, he makes sure to be a good listener for his son too.
I am interested in this book's path to publication. The original book that seems to have been published a year ago, has completely different illustrations or at least a different cover and was published by Simon & Schuster. I understand that sometimes another company will buy the rights to a book and then publish a different edition, but it was a little confusing and the Internet is doing nothing to clear it up for me.
That said, this is a rather melancholy book about loneliness, something that I think any human child can relate to at one time or another. The illustrations are adorable. Obviously, you will have to suspend belief because how in the world did that kid get a whale all the way into his house? Obviously, mass and weight are not concerns in this whale of a tale. Additionally, Noi is rather young to be left home all alone and must live in a very remote place for there to be no other children around. (or babysitters for that matter) But the point is loneliness, and Davies gets that element across quite well. It is presumed in the end that Noi, his father, and whale all benefited from the storm that night and will live much happier lives because of it.