As you can see from the background of our photo, it’s not winter where we live, but we’re still enjoying the many charming winter new releases such as Before Morning by Joyce Sidman and Beth Krommes, Little Penguins by Cynthia Rylant and Christian Robinson, First Snow by Bomi Park, and most definitely The Storm Whale in Winter by Benji Davies.

I know we were all hoping to see Noi, his dad and whale again, and what a tender sequel we’ve been treated with. It’s wintertime on the island and Noi is thinking about his friend. “Now and then he thought he caught a glimpse of the whale, its tail tipping the waves in the distance. But it was always something else.” Noi’s dad takes one final trip out in his fishing boat, before the sea turns to ice. When he doesn’t come home that night, Noi is understandably concerned and sets out to try and find him, firstly checking that all of their six cats are safe inside the house. Noi is a tender soul. Brave and devoted. He would do anything for his family and friends, and his kindness is returned, as Noi’s whale friends are there for him.

Davies touches the heart with every story told. We love Noi’s quaint little village, the beautiful blues enhanced by fellow primary colours yellow and red, and the themes of courage, friendship, family and loyalty that flow effortlessly through this sweet story. If you haven’t read this one or The Storm Whale, they’re a must. Also, Grandad’s Island is a gentle delight about loss and love. Another book with family as a central theme and the special bond that’s forever.


  • Published by Henry Holt and Co.
  • 4-8 years
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