Cover of The Stranded Whale by Jane Yolen

The Stranded Whale

Illustrated by Melanie Cataldo
Candlewick, 2015
ISBN-10: 0763669539
ISBN-13: 978-0763669539

I began this book after I heard of a whale (or porpoises) stranding and rescue effort in one of the fishing villages in Fife, Scotland  where I have a summer home. A friend who saw it all told me about it.  I set it back in time and place to the 1970s when my husband and I iused to take our children camping beachside in Maine. Though we never saw a whale stranding (the word stranding comes fromthe old word for beach—“strand”) but did witness a pregnant shark stranded on land give birth to a baby. Nature can be brutal and beautiful at the same time.

I thought the manuscript—because it pulls no punches—would be difficult to sell in a picture book market that valued light, breezy, bright, upbeat stories. Imagine my surprise when the very first editor I sent it to took it. She found the marvelous Melanie Cataldo a new artist. And voila!

There is a Chinese edition.

Around the web:

What reviewers have said:

  • “This poignant story reminds readers that despite human efforts, not all living beings can be saved and honestly portrays the frustration and sadness that can result. A thought-provoking choice—School Library Journal
  • “A moving, memorable addition to the nature collection.”—Kirkus Reviews