Title: Alfred and the Blue Whale
Written by: Mina Lystad
Illustrated by: Ashild Irgens
Translated by: Sian Mackie
Published by: Wacky Bee Books
This beautifully translated Buzzy Reads story is about Alfred who is scared of lots of things, but he is especially scared about speaking in front of the whole class. So when Alfred is told he must speak about the Blue Whale in front of everyone, he just wants to run away and hide. However the more Alfred learns about the Blue Whale the braver he becomes.
Buzzy reads are of a similar length and style designed to bridge the gap between picture books and first chapter books. This particularly inspirational book is about finding courage and learning to believe in yourself and has been translated from its native Norwegian.
It would be an excellent book to use for discussing feelings and things children may be afraid of. Alfred manages to stand up to his fear by distracting himself with his research. This would be a great jumping point to find out other children’s coping methods and to inspire empathy.
I like Ashild Irgens, use of colour within the book. She uses blue to illustrate how shy and timid Alfred is with yellow to demonstrate the moments he is feeling happy and more confident.
Mina Lystad has divulged some brilliant facts about the Blue Whale which are conveyed in a simple and easy to understand way. The use of repetition reinforces these facts. The last two pages are dedicated to a Blue Whale fact file. In the classroom, this book could be used to encourage the children to research and create their own animal fact files. They could also find out what other animals are endangered and why.
Find out more about Buzzy Reads on the Wacky Bee website: www.wackybeebooks.com