Perfect Picture Book Friday: A Small Blue Whale

Title: A Small Blue Whale

Author: Beth Ferry

Illustrator: Lisa Mundorff

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, 2017

Audience: Ages 3-5

Themes: Friendship, lonliness

Opening lines: A small blue whale sat in a silver sea wishing, wanting, waiting for a friend. Waiting was hard, but he didn’t mind; he was sure a friend would be worth the wait.

Synopsis: A small blue whale is alone in the sea. He wonders what friendship might look like, sound like, taste like, and feel like. He wonders what friends do. At first he thinks a small pink cloud might be a friend. As he follows the cloud, the whale comes upon a group of penguins. He tries to join in their fun, but gets stranded. Eventually help arrives in the form of hundreds of snowflakes and hundreds of penguins. The whale learns all about friendship and knows it was worth the wait.

Why I Like This Book: The beautiful, lyrical language immediately jumped out at me. Phrases like “a glint of gold,” “radiant ribbons of red,” “They leapt and swooped. And laughed and whooped” begged to be read over and over. The simple story line is appealing to young children who may also wonder about friendship. The soft illustrations add to the wonder and expertly complement the text.

Resources: There is a story time activity kit on Beth Ferry’s website ( It includes suggestions for before, during, and after reading, a connect-the-dots, a maze, and an art activity for making a rainbow with pipe cleaners.

For a list of wonderful picture books, please visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books. And check out today’s post here for a peek at a beautiful wintery book by Joyce Sidman and Beth Krommes.

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5 Responses to Perfect Picture Book Friday: A Small Blue Whale

  1. I love whales, so this story would speak to me. Such a lovely way to talk about friendship and marine life. Lovely illustrations!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I immediately feel empathy for this little whale. This sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks for the rec!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds wonderful, and like a good one for storytime … should it ever resume for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love Beth’s books! She is such a masterful storyteller and wordsmith. And that cover is amazing. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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