If You Want to See a Whale

9781596437319_p0_v2_s260x420A lesson in patience – and maybe meditation – Julie Fogliano’s children’s picture book If You Want To See A Whale has a calming quality and a reminder to stop and observe your surroundings – a message for adults as well as children.

With simple colorful illustrations, the story follows a little boy and his dog as they sit and stare at the ocean, waiting for a whale to appear.  With distractions everywhere, focusing on the task is not easy, but they succeed in the end.

I am currently reading Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being – another exercise in focus and patience.  Ozeki is a “writer, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest,” so I can’t help wondering if she injected lessons in patience and meditation into this slow read.  But I am staying on task, and hope to succeed.9780670026630_p0_v1_s260x420

Johann Sebastian Humpbach

71tLxPX7qoLWinter is whale season on Maui, when the humpbacks return from theGetAttachment-1.aspx cold Alaskan waters to play and mate in the warm Hawaiian sun.  Inspired by the island, the whales, and her students, retired teacher Jamie David created a story targeted for middle schoolers in Johann Sebastian Humpbach.  David personifies the singing whale and creates an adventure with twelve year-old local twins, who save him from a villain determined to exploit Johann’s talent.  With a glossary of Hawaiian vocabulary, the book offers a souvenir of Maui for young visitors, and fond memories of whale singing for those lucky enough to have heard it.

Maui Sunset

Maui Sunset