Dario and the Whale

by Cheryl Lawton Malone and Bistra Masseva

At the end of each spring, Dario moves with his mother to a beachside town for seasonal... read more

At the end of each spring, Dario moves with his mother to a beachside town for seasonal work in the tourist industry. Meanwhile, a right whale and her calf swim north to the same bay where Dario is now living. All of Dario’s actions on the beach—trying to make friends, accidentally bumping into someone, running along the beach flying a kite—are coincidentally echoed by the young whale’s movements as he chases a school of fish, bumps into a sea turtle, and launches out of the water. When Dario and the whale eventually come eye to eye, they form a friendship of sorts, looking for each other each day until the whale and his mother migrate away. The corresponding actions of the boy and the whale are cleverly developed on each page, both textually and in the evocative, richly colored illustrations, and reflect realistic, natural behaviors. On a deeper level, the overall theme of both Dario and the whale’s transient lives is subtly expressed. Dario and his mother are Brazilian and the text includes occasional dialogue in Portuguese. (Ages 3–6)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2017

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