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Reviewed by Kristine Zimmerman for Readers' Favorite
Whales are fascinating creatures and in 52: A Tale of Loneliness by Johnny DePalma we are introduced to an unusual one. Whales sing songs to communicate with other whales but 52 sings a song that cannot be heard by other whales. That means he has no other whales around him, which can be lonely at times, but he discovers there are so many other things to see in the ocean. He introduces us to the ocean’s wonders including seaweed, dolphins, and sharks. He imagines what it would be like if he could be like other whales but in the end, he is happy to be the whale he is.
Johnny DePalma has written a beautiful and fascinating story. The illustrations by Kyle Brown bring the ocean world to life. 52: A Tale of Loneliness is inspired by a real whale whose song is at 52 hertz, which is a much higher pitch than either blue or fin whales. Kids will be fascinated by this whale and probably want to find out more about him just like I did. DePalma’s tale flows effortlessly and will be a joy to read out loud. The lyrical verse echoes the swells of the ocean. DePalma’s story has a great message about self-acceptance, even though 52 realizes he is not like the other whales, he enjoys who he is and is happy. DePalma’s 52: A Tale of Loneliness needs to be shared with all kids who love the ocean and want to know more about the world around them. Beautiful and informative – a great book for all!