“Papa?”asked Little Blue.
“Are we going very far?”
“Yes, Little Blue. We will travel farther
than we have ever gone before.”
As two whales swim together through the big ocean, Little Blue has many questions for Papa, especially ones about the long migration. How will they know the way? Will he be able to keep up? What will they see along the way?
Papa has answers for all these questions, but Little Blue remains curious as they begin their journey. What could be down below, where they can’t see? The answer is a magical world and Little Blue is enchanted . . . until there is only darkness surrounding the young whale. But if Little Blue is quiet and listens, can Little Blue hear Papa’s song?
Filled with the wonders of the ocean and the comfort of a father’s presence, Following Papa’s Song is a heartwarming story to be read again and again.
When the whales make the long migration to their summer feeding ground, first-timer Little Blue is full of questions that betray his anxieties about the journey. His huge, even-tempered Papa is the picture of reassurance, explaining that whales have been migrating "for years upon years," and even if Little Blue gets lost (which he does, carried away by the beauty of the ocean and a burgeoning sense of adventure), he need only listen for Papa's special song. In this thematic companion to 2012's Meet Me at the Moon, Marino's writing is solemn and earnest ("Papa's voice echoed across the sea, through the liquid light and deep into the mysterious black"), but her gouache illustrations are exuberant and gorgeous, with a parchmentlike texture that captures dappling sunlight, murky depths, and the endless energy of the current. This visual eloquence carries over to her portrayal of father and son, as wells: even though the whales are seen almost exclusively in profile, their soulful eyes exude unconditional love and a faith in the forces of nature. Ages 3 5.