Janet Lawler and Timothy Basil Ering
In this narrative non-fiction picture book with its lyrical rhyming text and brilliant paintings, author Janet Lawler and illustrator Timothy Basil Ering present a superb portrait of a walrus in his icy environment, taking readers right up close to the creature .
He plays on an ice floe, flopping and plopping into the chilly water where he twirls and whirls with swirling flippers, kept warm by the layer of fat beneath his coat. Then, having found some clams on which to feast, he slurps until he’s full when it’s time to tease that playful puffin before, using his powerful tusks, he heaves himself out of the water and onto the ice.
‘Waddle. Walk. Slap! Slap!’ he lumbers, till he meets up with a pack of fellow walruses, snuggling up among them.
Sometimes however he get involved in a crashing, tusk-bashing fight with another walrus till fight over, he emits a variety of exciting sounding calls and songs that echo across the frozen landscape.
I imagine young listeners will love to copy these sounds as you read.
Come the spring, baby walruses are born. Noting is said in the main narrative about mating but the author includes information about this in a final double spread of additional walrus facts.
Thanks to his chosen colour palette, you almost feel the chill as Ering’s paintings zoom in on the action documenting every move the creature makes and its every change of mood, holding readers totally captivated throughout.