Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Walrus Song by Janet Lawler and Timothy Basil Ering

Where is Walrus? 
On a floe. 
Hop flops. He plops. 
Where did he go?

Walrus Song by Janet Lawler and Timothy Basil Ering (illustrator) is a gorgeous children's rhyming picture book about walruses that I'm absolutely in love with. 

Some of the things children will learn about in Walrus Song:

  • Herding/socializing behavior
  • How big a walrus is and about the fat layer that keeps them warm and stores energy
  • What walruses eat and how they hunt for food
  • How they play with birds(!)
  • The growth of tusks and how they're used to lift a walrus from the water and chip ice to make space to dive
  • How they use their flippers to walk and fight
  • The sounds they make
  • Mothers and babies: how often walruses give birth and how long they stay with mother
  • The danger of global warming to walruses

All of this is told in simple, rhyming text. But, there's also an explainer section at the end of the book that goes into greater detail about what various lines mean. For example, the line saying Walrus is "on a floe" describes the meaning of the word floe (an ice sheet). And, a line describing the way a walrus swims, "Twirling, whirling, flippers swirling," is further described in the explainer section in this way:

"A walrus swims by wiggling its whole body and stroking with its back flippers. It steers with its front flippers."

I took an interior shot to show you just how gorgeous the illustrations are (you should be able to click on the image to enlarge):

Highly recommended - I've read and reviewed a lot of children's books and I'm sure some of the animal books I've read (along with a single book I remember from my childhood) have had walruses in them along with other animals. But, Walrus Song is the first book I've read that's totally dedicated to walruses. I enjoyed learning about them and I think little ones will appreciate the gentle rhythmic text while they're still small enough to sit on laps, then will enjoy learning more about walruses as they grow. Walruses need love, too! Walrus Song would also be a great book for libraries and classrooms, since it has some nice added details in addition to the lovely story showing a walrus throughout its day. 

My thanks to Candlewick Press for the review copy! 

©2021 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

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