Wednesday 10 October 2018

"The Heart of a Whale" by Anna Pignataro

I don't often review books on my blog, but tonight I had the absolute pleasure of losing myself in the magical language and illustrations within Anna Pignataro's gorgeous new picture book, The heart of a whale.
This book is a useful addition for those studying oceans, whales, ocean environments, loneliness, hope and friendship.  However, it is also one of those magical picture books that you just want to revisit and spend time with, as it touches you - a special dance between text and image.

It is a wonderful mentor text for exploring language in use. Anna shares the song of the whale through the metaphor of music, with specific musical terms inciting imagery including scenes involving a sonata, symphony, orchestra, ballet and lullaby, as the whale continues "warmly weaving a path of starlight" through the ocean.  

The language in this picture book appears simple, but is magical, for example, when the whale sighs, "His sigh drifted away like a wish. A wish that the ocean carefully gathered and carried for him."

Figurative language can be foregrounded using this book as a mentor text, including the author's use of simile and personification.  It would also be a wonderful choice for explicitly teaching visualising as a comprehension strategy.  

The water colour illustrations are divine, weaving together with the text to make this such a memorable read that will be enjoyed time and time again.  

What a wonderful gift this book would be!


  1. Thanks for sharing, Kylie. It sounds like a must-have for the collection.

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