Review: The World of the Whale

BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations

Book Title: The World of the Whale (Available here)

Author: Smriti Prasadam-Halls

Illustrator: Jonathan Woodward

Publisher: Wren & Rook

Publication Date: August 2018

Reviewed By: Nia Talbot, Assistant headteacher and EYFS teacher

The World of the Whale is everything you want a non-fiction book to be: it’s informative and visually stunning. For me, the illustrations are an integral part of the book. They add detail which clarifies and extends the children’s knowledge of the facts given. Jonathan Woodward’s artwork is so vivid that the whales and dolphins look like they are moving across the underwater world in which they live. This realism is so important in supporting children with their understanding of these magnificent mammals.

I read this book thinking ‘Oh wow, I didn’t know that’ and this sense of wonder and intrigue is why I love this book so much. Smriti Prasadam-Halls has done a great job of giving you enough information that you feel like you’ve learnt something new but not so much that you feel overwhelmed by the amount of detail given or that information gets lost by the amount. Some of the information is written in an information paragraph while others are presented in bullet points or as labelled diagrams.

The World of the Whale can be shared throughout the primary classrooms. From EYFS, thinking about how that information can be gained from reading, up to year 6, when learning about adaptations, this hardback will provide the children with the knowledge that they need as well as inspiring further comments and questions. There is some technical vocabulary, as well as a slight prose style, that may need to be explored with children but this makes the book even more of a rich, well-rounded text.

I think this book is a must-have in every class non-fiction collection.

Curriculum links: Science, Geography, PHSE (environment impact on oceans)


You can order The World of the Whale online or from your local bookshop or library.

Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Nia for reviewing it.


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