Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Ida and the Whale

Ida and the Whale

Rebecca Gugger
Illustrator:  Simon Rothlisberger 
Picture Book
For ages 4 and up
NorthSouth Books, 2019   ISBN: 978-0735843417

Ida lives in a tree house in a forest and she often sits on her porch wondering what lies “beyond the sun, the moon, and the stars.” One night Ida’s tree house starts to shake, and when she goes outside to investigate she sees that there is a giant whale floating outside her house. The whale invites Ida to go with him to “journey beyond the stars,” and without pausing for a moment Ida climbs onto the whale’s back and off they go.

The first place they come is very odd indeed for everything is upside down. The only way to really understand the place and the people who live there is to stand on ones head, which is what Ida does.

Next they arrive in a beautiful place that is full of gorgeous plants and animals. Here Ida discovers that everything is growing in one way or another.

Ida and the whale travel through a fierce storm that leaves “nothing untouched” and then they came to place that is still and empty. Or at least it looks as if it is empty.

In this magical picture book we join Ida and her whale friend and go on a journey that encourages us to think about our own journeys. Sometimes, like Ida, we have to change our perspective so that we can understand others. Sometimes we have to learn how to weather storms, and how to embrace silence.

Throughout this timeless tale a simple narrative is paired with lovely illustrations to give us a story that challenges us to think about our own place in the world.