Orca Book Publishers

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Fiction Picture Book
Pages: 32
Themes: nature, multi-generations, environment, sea life, wild animals, grandparent, grandchild, family, generations
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/Sep/2016
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In this timeless classic set on the West Coast, an old man lives alone on a bluff overlooking the sea, tends his garden and waits. Only when the whales return each year to the bay in front of his cottage is his loneliness eased. One day his daughter and her baby return home to live with the old man, bringing a renewed sense of purpose to his life. As his granddaughter grows, the old man passes on a wealth of knowledge and wisdom as well as his passion for the whales. And each year they wait together for the whales to appear.

Waiting for the Whales illuminates the unique friendship between grandparent and child and celebrates the restorative power of the natural world. Originally published twenty-five years ago, this award-winning picture book is sure to enchant a whole new generation of readers.

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"This beautifully written, sensitive story reflects on an important relationship between young and old...This text is skillfully enhanced by the accomplished artwork of Ron Lightburn...Twenty-five years later this enchanting book has been republished, proving that it is a classic appealing across the generations. It should be welcomed once again on the shelves in school libraries and classroom collections."
Kirkus Reviews
"The gentle, distancing tone is reflected in softly detailed color-pencil art, with careful compositions and dramatic shadows...Poetic and comforting."
Canadian Literature
"A delicate and beautifully executed book."
CM Magazine
"Waiting for the Whales, a multi-award winning (for both author and illustrator) picture book, was described as 'timeless' when originally published in 1991. Twenty-five years later, it lives up to that praise, remaining very much a story for today. The premise, setting, themes and illustrative style still inspire in this classic story written from the heart…Be sure to add this gentle but captivating story to your picture book collection. Waiting for the Whales will remain a favorite to reread for generations to come."
Publishers Weekly
"Written in precisely cadenced prose, McFarlane's story about the cycles of life—while not a new theme—is so deftly handled that it becomes genuinely moving."


CLA Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award  | 1991 | Winner
IODE Book Award - Toronto Chapter  | 1992 | Winner
Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award  | 1992 | Winner
Today's Parent's Best Canadian Kids Books list selection  | 2015 | Commended
CCBC Our Choice  | 1991 | Commended
Governor General's Literary Award - Illustration  | 1991 | Winner

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Waiting for the Whales
By (author): Sheryl McFarlane   Illustrated by: Ron Lightburn
Waiting for the Whales
By (author): Sheryl McFarlane   Illustrated by: Ron Lightburn