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3.5/5 (8 ratings)
49 pages
21 minutes
Jul 17, 2012


Newbery Medalist Cynthia Rylant brings the peaceful sounds, sights, and characters of the coast vividly to life in the second book of the Lighthouse Family series, in which the family helps reunite a baby beluga whale with its mother.

Pandora, Seabold, Whistler, Lila, and Tiny have all been enjoying the love and comfort that being a family brings. It is a comfort they are unexpectedly reminded of when Whistler and Lila hear the cries of a lonely baby beluga whale named Sebastian. When they learn that he has lost his mama, the Lighthouse Family, with the help of a cranky but noble old cormorant named Huck, does all it can to bring Sebastian and his mother together again.
Jul 17, 2012

About the author

Cynthia Rylant is the author of more than 100 books for young people, including the beloved Henry and Mudge, Annie and Snowball, Brownie & Pearl, Motor Mouse, and Mr. Putter & Tabby series. Her novel Missing May received the Newbery Medal. She lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Related to The Whale

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The Whale - Cynthia Rylant



In a lonely lighthouse there lived a family of animals who were, in fact, not lonely at all.

Their lighthouse stood on top of a cliff of sharp rocks beside the sea. And it looked as if it were the most forlorn and empty place in the world, standing there all alone.

But if one drew closer to this lighthouse, everything about it changed.

For there were blue petunias growing in window boxes at the little cottage next door.

In the yard sunflowers lined a lovely picket fence and tomatoes and carrots grew in the garden.

At the base of the lighthouse was a handmade wooden wagon filled with toys, and the toys themselves were handmade: penguins that wobbled, pelicans with large beaks that opened and closed, crabs with movable, clicking legs.

If one drew even closer to the front door of the keeper’s cottage, the smell of fresh-baked bread or berry dumplings floated out onto the wind.

And, looking inside this open door, there one would find the happiest family in the world.

They were: Pandora, the cat; Seabold, the dog; and three mouse children—Whistler, Lila, and their baby sister, Tiny.

They had lived here together for less than a year. But already they had made it a home.

On this

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What people think about The Whale

8 ratings / 8 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    This book poetically talks about the life of whales. The author does a wonderful job personifying the whales. I will use this book to teach personification to my students.
  • (4/5)
    A book that shares the various species of one of the most mysterious creatures. I personally liked the simple illustrations created by Rylant. I also liked the inclusion of various species of whales/
  • (5/5)
    This book incorporates human emotions into the story of the whales as well as real facts about whales and their migratory trips, where they live, and the songs they sing. It takes you on a short journey using sea sponge acrylic paintings done by the illustrator/author. This book would be an excellent tool to discuss whales and other sea creatures as well as introduce unique sponge painting art. "The Whales" is a realistic fiction.
  • (1/5)
    The is the story about a whales life. It was sweet but a little boring and I would not read it to other students.
  • (2/5)
    This book is very detailed about whales. Its a good book if you are teaching children about different types of animals in the water.
  • (2/5)
    This is a book about whales. Their are illustations of different whales in a whimsical form. Throughout the book there are very basic examples of whales. This book is not meant to really teach you facts, but to paint pictures in your mind probably meant for younger children.
  • (4/5)
    read when teaching about science, water animals,
  • (4/5)
    The art is beautiful with its use of acrylics and a sponge to show all the whales journeys in contrasting colors. It is a long poem that tells the journeys of whales and what they go through as you develop a connection between the whales and yourself and the challenges they face.