Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Abigale the Happy Whale

Abigale the Happy Whale

Peter Farrelly
Illustrator:  Jamie Rama 
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Little Brown, 2006   ISBN: 978-0316011907

Abigale is a humpback whale who is swimming with the rest of her pod off the coast of California. The other whales are very glum but Abigale is cheerful and enjoying herself. She soon meets up with some of her friends and she finds out that many of them are glum as well. The Golfin’ Dolphin has a swollen and painful snout because the Land People threw a golf club into the sea which hit him. Blackie the Goldfish is upset because he is covered with horrible black oil and Wordsmith the Swordfish has a wheel stuck on his sword.

As best she can Abigale tries to help these friends. She then finds out that Ed Dale, the Head Whale, is so fed up with all the pollution that is being dumped in the sea that he is going to lead the entire pod towards the beach. Surely if the whales become beached the Land People will notice what they are doing and try to clean up all the pollution. Abigale does not think this plan is going to make any difference so she comes up with a plan of her own.

Packed with clever wordplay this picture book can be enjoyed by children and their grownups alike. The characters have deliciously funny names and the environmental message is one that readers of all ages will be to able to appreciate and discuss. By combining humor with likeable characters and an interesting story the author makes his message accessible to all his readers.

Jamie Rama has created delightful illustrations which give the characters in the story personality and which help the reader see how dreadful it must be to be forced to live in a polluted environment.