Sponsored Collection

Atlantic Books for the Holidays


Waiting for the Whales

by Sheryl McFarlane
illustrated by Ron Lightburn

0 ratings
0 of 5
comments: 0
reviews: 0
add a tag
Please login or register to use this feature.

marine life, environment, multigenerational
list price: $9.95
published: 2002
View Excerpt
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
3 to 5
p to k
Reading age:
3 to 5
close this panel
  • Commended, Today's Parent's Best Canadian Kids Books list selection
  • Winner, IODE Book Award - Toronto Chapter
  • Winner, Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award
  • Commended, CCBC Our Choice
  • Winner, CLA Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award
  • Winner, Governor General's Literary Award - Illustration
close this panel

In this timeless story set on the West Coast, an old man lives alone on a bluff overlooking the sea and tends his garden. And waits. Only when the whales return each year to the bay in front of his cottage is his loneliness eased. One day, his daughter and her baby return home to live with the old man, bringing a renewed sense of purpose to his life. As his granddaughter grows, the old man passes on a wealth or knowledge and wisdom as well as his passion for the whales. And each year they wait together for the whales to appear. A gentle story that illuminates the unique friendship between grandparent and child, Waiting for the Whales also suggests that aging and death are only part of a greater cycle of rebirth and continuity.

close this panel

The old man watched the pod of orcas leap and breach and smack their tail flukes against the water. And as he stood on the bluff, his heart leapt with the whales below. It seemed to him that there was nothing more wonderful than these great mammals of the sea.

close this panel
Editorial Reviews

"The gentle, distancing tone is reflected in softly detailed color-pencil art, with careful compositions and dramatic shadows...Poetic and comforting."

— Kirkus Reviews

"This gentle and poignant tale features striking photorealist coloured-pencil artwork."

— Canadian Children's Book Centre Classic Canadian Reading

"Waiting for the Whales, a multi-award winning (for both author and illustrator) picture book, was described as 'timeless' when originally published in 1991. Twenty-five years later, it lives up to that praise, remaining very much a story for today. The premise, setting, themes and illustrative style still inspire in this classic story written from the heart…Be sure to add this gentle but captivating story to your picture book collection. Waiting for the Whales will remain a favorite to reread for generations to come."

— CM Magazine
close this panel

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

About the Authors

Sheryl McFarlane

Sheryl McFarlane is the author of more than a dozen award-winning books for young readers. A former teacher, Sheryl loves bike riding, beachcombing and discovering new books for her grandchildren. She lives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, where she keeps a little free library stocked with books for her friends and neighbors.
Author profile page >

Ron Lightburn

Ron Lightburn's career as a children's book illustrator was launched with his Governor General's Award-winning artwork for Waiting for the Whales in 1991. Since then he has illustrated numerous other bestselling picture books and has become internationally renowned for his sensitive storytelling skills and range of illustration styles.
Author profile page >

Other titles by Sheryl McFarlane

more >

Other titles by Ron Lightburn

more >

User Activity

more >
Contacting facebook
Please wait...