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The storm whale in winter
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Author Notes
Benji Davies is the author and illustrator of The Storm Whale and the illustrator of Big Friends by Linda Sarah and Goodnight Already! by Jory John. As a child, Benji was often found painting at the kitchen table . . . a habit he has continued into adulthood. He lives in London with his wife, Nina.
Fiction/Biography Profile
Noi (Boy), Lives with his father, a fisherman, in a house by the sea; has six cats to keep him company; his island is covered in snow and ice; worried about the little whale he rescued last summer
Fathers and sons
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Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

Noi helped care for a young beached whale in Davies's The Storm Whale, and although the two parted ways at the end of that book, the whale gets a chance to return the favor in a sequel with its own high stakes. When Noi's father doesn't return after taking his fishing boat out on an icy day, Noi ventures after him ("I must be careful! he thought, stepping out onto the thick ice"). He finds his father's boat, but not his father, and just when Noi's fear reaches its apex, the whale and its pod appear and help push the stranded boat through the ice back to shore. Once again, Davies's careful storytelling and muted artwork draw substantial emotional depth out of Noi and his father's seaside life, a setting both realistic and dashed with magic. Ages 4-8. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

  School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-In this sequel to The Storm Whale, Noi misses the friend he rescued and released back into the sea. As winter approaches, the boy's father makes a final trip in his fishing boat. When an evening storm arrives, Noi decides he must search for his dad by venturing onto the ice. Despite the blinding snow, he eventually reaches the boat only to discover that his father is gone. What to do? In a reversal of familiar accounts of humans helping whales trapped by ice, the storm whale and his family push the small boy and the boat back to shore for a joyful reunion. Yes, the story is improbable, but friendship often generates its own magic. The illustrations of rugged coastlines contrast with those of the cozy interior of Noi's compact, neat house. His small lantern shines through the swirling snow against the charcoal sky. Among the striking images are the spreads of the whales' perspective as they gather beneath the boat and their progress to shore as they sing "through puffs of steam and spray" while lighthouse beams illuminate their path. VERDICT A seasonal adventure sure to delight those who enjoyed the storm whale's original story, this tale of friendship will please new listeners as well.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University Library, Mankato © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

*Starred Review* This heartening book about friendship is a sequel to The Storm Whale (2014), in which a boy named Noi rescued a beached baby whale and returned it to the sea. Here readers return to the ramshackle house at the edge of the sea, where Noi lives with his fisherman father and six cats, and observe the boy wandering the shore, missing his whale friend. Soon, it's winter, the sea is almost ice-bound, and Noi's father takes the small fishing boat out for one last run. The story perfectly captures Noi's loneliness and mounting panic as night sets in without his father returning. Noi decides to walk out on the ice to find his father. Trotting over the frozen, slate-gray water with lantern in hand, he finds the boat lodged in the ice, but without his father on board. Afraid, Noi cowers in the hold, only to be rescued by the storm whale and its whole family, which push the boat out of the ice and to the lighthouse where Noi's father is waiting. The evocative illustrations contrast the bleak, wintry landscape with glimpses of light glowing windows of neighboring houses, Noi's lantern, lighthouse beams all underscoring the message of hope. The gentle suspense, reunion of boy and whale, and happy ending will please young readers after a cozy yet exciting tale.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2016 Booklist

  Horn Book Review

Noi, who lives with his fisherman father, is reunited with the whale he rescued in The Storm Whale (rev. 1/15). Months have passed since Noi helped the stranded whale calf return to its pod. The boy hopes he'll see his friend again, but winter is setting in and the chances are increasingly slim. "All around the island the sea slowly filled with ice." Noi's dad heads out one last time to fish, but when Dad doesn't return home by nightfall, a worried Noi walks out on the now-frozen sea to search for him. Noi becomes lost before finding his dad's fishing boat trapped--and abandoned--on the ice. A stressful turn of events, to be sure, but Davies holds Noi's anxiety at bay in both the warm-toned illustrations and gentle text. The double-page-spread illustration following Noi's unsettling discovery that "the boat was empty" offers a dramatic underwater view from the bottom of the boat as Noi's whale and its family miraculously arrive on the scene. The whales free the boat and lead Noi to the lighthouse where Dad has been waiting out a snowstorm. A titch too neat, but the resolution is welcome relief from poor Noi's dire circumstances. This almost-harrowing adventure story/triumphant friendship tale is seaworthy indeed. kitty flynn (c) Copyright 2017. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Kirkus Review

A winter tale of a boy, his dad, and a whale A little white boys love for his fisherman father and an unlikely friendship with a mysterious whale take the forefront in Davies sequel to The Storm Whale (2014). The seasons have changed, and little Noi has not seen his friend the whale in quite some time. Now and then he thought he caught a glimpse of the whale, its tail tipping the waves in the distance. But it was always something else. When Noi ventures out into a winter storm to help bring his father home to safety, gentle suspense ensues as Noi wanders over the frozen sea and is lost amid the snowflakes in search of his dad. Perhaps his loyal whale friend will intervene.As with its predecessor, the illustrations here capture the feeling of another time, provide a vivid depiction of life by the sea, and contain just the right amount of detail, while clear, descriptive text allows the plot to gracefully unfold. Readers who dont know the previous selection will enjoy this quiet depiction of the seashore in winter, while those already familiar with Noi and his world will further appreciate this continuation of the earlier story. A meditative tale of family, friendship and warmth. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
<p>In this sequel to The Storm Whale , the boy, Noi, is caught in a storm at sea and his whale friend comes to his rescue.</p> <p>When Noi's dad sails out on one last fishing trip before winter, Noi waits for him at home. But as the storm worsens and his dad does not return, Noi decides to go looking for his dad. But the storm is powerful and dangerous, and soon Noi, too, is stuck in the icy sea. When it seems that all hope is lost, a friend comes to help Noi and his father. Poignant and evocative, this is a beautiful celebration of friendship and family, and the special bond between a father and son.</p>
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