Wanda The Blue Whale
Beverly Jatwani and Sawyer Cloud
New Frontier Publishing
The third book of seven in the Together we can change the World series is set in South America, on and near La Serena Beach (Chile). Young Paula awakens to the sound of the ocean every day and loves the view from her bedroom window. She also loves spending her time on the sandy beach, sometimes clambering over the rocks to investigate what’s there.
One morning early she is devastated to discover, lying on the beach, hardly moving, a blue whale calf. Going up close, she sees that it’s tangled in a fishing net and gently stroking the creature, names it Wanda. She knows she must find a way to release it so the whale can re-join its family.
Other people gather around and Paula begs them to help her free the calf.. Immediately everyone gets to work – teamwork is key now – until finally Wanda is no longer trapped in the net but remains some distance from the ocean. Thankfully a passing boat responds to their signals for assistance but the creature’s weight is too much for the small craft.
Or is it? The tide is very slowly coming in so perhaps it’s worth having one more attempt to tug her into the waves …
On her way back up the shore, Paula notices something in the sand; something on which is written a vitally important word. Then that evening what she sees through her windows beneath the setting sun fills her heart with joy …
The final page of this book gives information about blue whales, including the fact that they are now classified as an endangered species.
The story shows the powerful emotional and transformational connection formed between the girl protagonist and the whale, the key word being the compassion shown by Paula. It also highlights the responsibility we humans all have, or need to develop, towards Planet Earth: for sure if everybody is prepared to act in a similar way to Paula, it’s possible as the series title says, to change the world. To that end, adults can start by sharing the story with youngsters who, one hopes, will want to become activists.