cover image The Storm Whale in Winter

The Storm Whale in Winter

Benji Davies. Holt, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-250-11186-9

Noi helped care for a young beached whale in Davies’s The Storm Whale, and although the two parted ways at the end of that book, the whale gets a chance to return the favor in a sequel with its own high stakes. When Noi’s father doesn’t return after taking his fishing boat out on an icy day, Noi ventures after him (“I must be careful! he thought, stepping out onto the thick ice”). He finds his father’s boat, but not his father, and just when Noi’s fear reaches its apex, the whale and its pod appear and help push the stranded boat through the ice back to shore. Once again, Davies’s careful storytelling and muted artwork draw substantial emotional depth out of Noi and his father’s seaside life, a setting both realistic and dashed with magic. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)