cover image The Whale in My Swimming Pool

The Whale in My Swimming Pool

Joyce Wan. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-30037-1

Using an adorably chunky kawaii aesthetic that fans of her previous books will recognize, Wan (Sleepyheads) serves up a whale-size dilemma. A boy with dot eyes and a round head discovers that an enormous blue whale has taken up residence in (or rather on top of) his kiddie pool, making it look about the size of a teacup saucer. Wan's comedic sensibilities shine as the boy tries various methods to remove the whale, which maintains a state of unruffled serenity. The boy first counts to 10 ("...and when I'm done, you'd better be gone!"), then tries reasoning with it ("Wouldn't you rather swim with other whales?"). Bribing the whale doesn't work, nor does attempting to lift it out of the pool with a construction crane. All the while, the unmoving whale smiles pleasantly and spouts water out of its blowhole. A compromise lets everyone win, while a zinger ending suggests the boy's animal problems are only beginning. Wan's cuddly, candid world is the sort that readers will want to step into again and again. Ages 2%E2%80%936. Agent: Teresa Kietlinski, Prospect Agency. (Apr.)