cover image Jonah’s Whale

Jonah’s Whale

Eileen Spinelli, illus. by Giuliano Ferri. Eerdmans, $16 (26p) ISBN 978-0-8028-5382-0

Spinelli (Something to Tell the Grandcows) freshens the familiar titular Bible story by showing events from the point of view of the whale. He is big and he has lots of teeth, but he is also playful and majestic, and sings joyfully to praise God. One day during a fierce storm God commands him: “Save the man Jonah.” Down the hatch goes the prophet, and the whale waits, patient, puzzled, and eventually queasy, for further instruction. Of course it comes, and thereafter prophet and whale are bonded. Spinelli’s spin on the whale tale is gentle. Full-bleed watercolor and colored pencil illustrations by Ferri (Ant and Grasshopper) are appropriately scaled for the leviathan subject, and the soft blue palette and undulating lines of the sea reinforce a soothing sense that God will indeed deliver. Ages 4–8. (Mar.) ■