After a 26 metre long dead blue whale washed up on a PEI beach in 1987, the remains were buried for 20 years. “A blue whale is rare. We think if we bury her, then over time, only her bones will remain. Perhaps one day, he skeleton will be of use to science.” There were smells when unburying her. Skill was needed to re-build her. There was mystery surrounding her missing, sawed off flipper, and specialized equipment to move the remains to British Columbia. The smell returned when oils were removed from the bones, and teamwork was needed to repair her broken bones. But this blue whale’s death (after she collided with a ship), helps others learn about, and be in awe of, the big blue whale from Canada.
This is part picture book for preschoolers and part nonfiction book for older children. The first part of the book pairs a simplified story of the whale with full page photographs that include children viewing the skeleton as it’s being rebuilt by scientists and artists. The last half of the book goes into more detail of the procedures needed to preserve the skeleton (degreasing bath, labeling the bones), and more science about the blue whale’s life and death. The photographs are smaller in this section, but captioned, and back material includes a bibliography, biographies (and quotes) from key team members, and sad facts about how many blue whales are left in the world and why they are disappearing. Several boxes throughout this section highlight unusual happenings surrounding the whale. They showcase people who dust the whale bones, and the differences between a natural and unnatural death of a blue whale. It’s too bad this whale couldn’t have stayed in PEI where she was found, but now that she’s in the public again, she is real to us.
Be the first person to email [email protected] with your favourite place to watch for whales and you will receive this book.