CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Erich Hoyt
Illustrations by Pieter Folkens

Camden East (Ont.), Camden House, 1991. 72pp, paper, ISBN 0-921820-23-2 (paper) $9.95, ISBN 0-921820-25-9 (library binding) $17.95
Distributed by Firefly Books. CIP

Grades 5 and up/Ages 10 and up
Reviewed by Peter Freeman.

Volume 19 Number 5
1991 October

Given the new found concern for the environment, it is no surprise to find a number of books written about endan­gered species. What is surprising is finding an easy-to-read book that readers of all ages will find valuable as a source of pleasure and an excellent research text. The author presents whales in a general way, under such headings as "whale biology", "whale behaviour" and "whales and humans."

He then introduces the reader to twenty species of whale. The introductions provide us with information about the lives of the whale, but they also outline modern attempts to make contact with each species. The result is that we see modern whale research in very human terms. It is presented as a reaching out for knowledge, not as an intrusion by scientists into the lives of nature's most bizarre experiments.

Accompanying the writing is a collection of excellent full-colour photographs that put the reader in a bobbing boat beside the whale or under the water swimming with the behe­moth. One cannot help but admire the skill and courage of the photographers. Complementing the photographs and text are full-colour illustrations and clearly written explanations.

The book is well organized and permits easy access to information. The index and table of contents will be helpful for the researcher. In addition, a list of additional reading material is supplied.

I couldn't put the book down. My only regret is that the author did not continue writing more about whales. This book is like a fine meal; you will leave it satisfied but anxious to return later for more.

Peter Freeman, Prince Rupert, B.C.
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