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M. Wylie Blanchet.
Illustration by Jacqueline McKay Mathews.

Madeira Park (BC), Harbour Publishing, c1983.
Distributed by Harbour Publishing, Box 219, Madeira Park, BC, V0N 2H0.
46pp, paper, $6.95.
ISBN 0-920080-33-2.

Grades 3 and up.
Reviewed by Enid Dorward.

Volume 12 Number 3
1984 May

Not thinking can certainly get one into trouble! Henry, a young killer whale, learned this the hard way when he failed to heed his mother's warnings and instructions, and became trapped in an inlet along the British Columbia coast. A "boisterous thirty-foot youth," Henry was full of confidence and felt that he was too grown up to need to listen to his mother. However, he found that a whale could get into serious trouble by carelessly getting too close to tidal rapids and then into narrow, shallow inlets. It was a while before he admitted to himself that he was lost and didn't know how to get back out to a safe area. Against his will, he spent some time in the company of Timothy, a young seagull with a broken wing. Timothy was sure that he could show Henry the way out of the inlet, and he did, but it was a way suitable only for gulls and not for whales. Henry eventually found his own way out, and ended up wiser about tidal rapids, inlets, fishing boats, and seagulls.

The author has succeeded in creating a very realistic protagonist. Although a whale rather than a person, Henry has weaknesses and tendencies that befall many people. Even Timothy the seagull is a believable character. The story is full of action, and the reader feels drawn from one chapter to the next to find out what happens to Henry. In the course of the story, the reader learns facts about killer whales: their size, appearance, food, and habitat. An Indian legend about the origin of killer whales has also been included in the story.

Mathews's black-and-white illustrations depict Henry's adventures in the coastal waters of British Columbia. Little maps help the reader follow Henry's progress into and out of trouble, and every page is attractively framed with appropriate drawings. The book has a very appealing glossy cover and is a well-bound paperback. It is recommended for elementary school libraries and is particularly suitable for grades 3 to 6. Persons who are fascinated with whales will welcome this book.

Enid Dorward, Winnipeg, MB.
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