Penguin Random House page
Each day this week I am posting a review of a children’s book published in Aotearoa with a pop-up challenge and a secret giveaway. You will have 48 hours to do the challenge!
Ruth Paul has published two books about Hector’s dolphins with Penguin Random House. She is a superb illustrator and is equally deft with words.
The first one – Little Hector and the Blue Whale – came out in 2018. Hector ‘is a small but daring dolphin’ who wants to follow the big dolphins but everyone says he is too small. His ears fill with so many warnings he might pop (he’s had enough!). So he ignores the advice and heads off into the big ocean where all kinds of scary things loom large. Poor Little Hector gets lost – luckily he finds a friend who won’t EAT him and who knows friends stick together when they are in tough spots! It’s a happy ending because Little Hector finds out the very best place for small dolphins to be.
This book is about a rare and special creature who lives in our seas and is one of the smallest dolphins in the world. We need to do everything we can to protect them.
Ruth’s gorgeous illustrations are full of such life, Little Hector catches my eye on every page. I can almost feel the texture of the skin and see him loop and dive as he skims through the water. Which means I get to care about Hector’s dolphins even more.
The second one – Little Hector and the Big Idea – came out this year and the illustrations are equally captivating. In this story, instead of coming across ocean treasures like shells and seaweed, Little Hector and his Bottlenose cousins come across junk. All the plastic waste and fishing nets that end up as danger spots for sea life! Fish might try to eat it (DISASTER) and get stuck in it (DOUBLE DISASTER).
I love the way Ruth tells a story that makes me care about the ocean even more, and all the creatures that live in it. I loved the picture of adults and children clearing all the junk off beaches because that’s what we do at Te Henga near where I live.
These two books are essential reading – Little Hector is a delightful character but I also get to learn as I read.
I am very excited there is a third book coming soon: Little Hector and the Mini Māui.
WEDNESDAY POP-UP challenge
Let’s do poems about Hector’s dolphins.
First: You might like to go hunting for some facts.
Second: You might like to go hunting for dolphin words (think of what they actually look like, some words for how they move in the sea, similes)
Third: Try making little lines using some of the words
Fourth: Use your lines to make a dolphin shape (a picture poem)
OR fifth: Write a dolphin weaving your collected words and a dolphin fact or two
Sixth: Your poem might even bring the plastic in the ocean problem
Does your poem make a picture of a dolphin grow in your head as you read it?
How does it sound as you read it aloud?
Deadline: 25th October 9 am
Include: your name, age, year and name of school
Don’t forget to put DOLPHIN poem in subject line so I don’t MISS your email.
Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some favourite poems: I will post some favourites on 25th October. I will have at least one secret give away!