cover image Whales


Gilda Berger. Doubleday Books for Young Readers, $10.95 (41pp) ISBN 978-0-385-23420-7

The author of Sharks has used a similar format for whales, another legendary creature of the sea: general information is followed by a discussion of the more than 20 major species that make up the whale family. Once again, Berger's facts are both amusing and informative, the kind kids like to share: for example, sailors report that when whales clear air from their lungs through their blowholes, they often are found to have bad breath. The Russian expression ""squeal like a Beluga,'' comes from the fact that Beluga whales, like others of their kind, communicate through clicks, taps, ``songs'' and grunts. And Berger puts the size of the whales into manageable perspective; readers won't soon forget that the blue whale has a heart the size of a small automobile. Bonforte's full-color illustrations adequately convey the distinctions between whales; author and artist give readers much to pore over, consider and enjoy. Ages 5-9. (October)