Maya & Filippo Look for Whales

Children - Picture Book
26 Pages
Reviewed on 03/27/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Hi, I'm Alinka Rutkowska and I'm an award-winning and best-selling author and coach.

I've been featured on Fox Business Network, Examiner, She Knows, She Writes, Blog Talk Radio, The Writer’s Life and many more.

I'm giving away presents!

READERS: Go to and get one of my children's books for free!

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi for Readers' Favorite

Maya and Filippo Look for Whales by Alinka Rutkowska is another story in the adventures of of Maya and Filippo as they travel around the world with their parents aboard the beautiful ship, the Fun Princess. This time, the kids travel to Ketchikan, a port in Alaska. As usual, the spirited kids are ready for adventure and their first stop is a Saxman Native Village that is beautiful beyond anything they have ever seen. The tour guide shows them many amazing features and tells them interesting legends of Alaska. The kids, however, really want to see whales and while they listened to the tales from the tour guide, they learned a very important lesson about the power of positive thinking.

Maya and Filippo Look for Whales is another amazing story in the adventures of Maya and Filippo and once again Alinka Rutkowska delivers another incredible book for kids that is both fun to read and very educational. The vivid illustrations will keep kids focused while he/she reads the story and takes in the message at the centre of it all. The writing style is very simple and child-friendly, and the story is very interesting, as are all the previous stories in the Maya and Filippo series. It is an easy and fun way to teach your kid about important values and qualities. Alinka Rutkowska's incredible writing skills come out in the way the book teaches very important life values and lessons, but in a way that is very easy for the kids relate to and comprehend.

Melinda Hills

Children can enjoy a brief look at an Alaskan town and learn a little about Eskimo culture in Maya &Filippo Look for Whales, written by Alinka Rutkowska and illustrated by Konrad Checinski. This is another short children’s story in a delightful series that provides a look at different places and cultures around the world while working in a positive message. Maya and Filippo, a sister and brother, live with their parents on board a cruise ship that travels the world. This stop is in Ketchikan, Alaska, where the children see totem poles and hear a legend about the ‘Salmon King.’ Maya is more interested in seeing a whale, so she tries visualizing spotting a whale, just like the fisherman in the native story. As luck would have it, she and Filippo are then able to go out on a whale watching excursion and Maya’s wish comes true.

Reading to children is a wonderful practice, especially with a story like Maya & Filippo Look for Whales. Not only can you spend quality time with a child, the child is exposed to places and things they might never have the opportunity to see, and they hear a subtle message about the power of positive thinking. Alinka Rutkowska has a special flair for telling stories that are fun and educational and provide an understated lesson designed to help children grow up as caring, concerned and self-reliant people. Whether it is a question of getting along with other people or treating the environment carefully, Maya and Filippo show children positive ways of dealing with all kinds of issues.

Valerie Rouse

Maya & Filippo Look for Whales is a delightful storybook for children. It is colorfully illustrated and it educates children about Alaska. This travel log involves Maya and Filippo who are brother and sister. They take a cruise on a cruise ship called the “Fun Princess.” This ship docks at Ketchikan in Alaska. They are both wondering what kind of fish they would love to see on their tour. Both of them really wanted to see a whale! They got more than they bargained for. They were fortunate to see totem poles in a village called Saxman Native Village. Filippo was very excited when he saw the totem poles but Maya was not enthused. She only wanted to see a whale. Whilst on the tour, the tour guide explained the story of the Salmon Chief. It involved a fisherman who used his imagination to pretend that he was catching a lot of fish. The reality was the opposite for him at that time. Eventually, the fisherman was successful and caught a lot of fish. According to Miss Rutkowska, Maya then used her imagination to pretend that she was seeing a whale. Eventually, Maya and Filippo went on an excursion to watch whales in Snow Passage.

Maya & Filippo Look for Whales is a positive children’s book. It relates the travel experiences of the two main characters, thereby enticing readers to consider travelling to Alaska in the future. I love the colorful illustrations. It is evident that Miss Rutkowska loves to travel as well because everyone in the story is smiling. This attention to detail actually makes the book rather appealing to all readers. The theme is a simple one based on the joys of travel as a family affair. There is a moral embedded in the story. In essence, the pages reveal that if you maintain a positive outlook in life, your dreams may actually come true. According to Miss Rutkowska, Maya had a so-called “aha” moment and copied the actions of the fisherman that she heard about in the totem pole fable. This speaks volumes from a psychological standpoint because in these current harsh economic times, it is imperative to stay focused and maintain a positive outlook in life. I appreciate the fact that this simple children’s book contains this important value system for all readers to adopt in their daily lives. I highly recommend this book to all readers, especially those with small children who enjoy reading or listening to stories.

Jack Magnus

In Maya & Filippo Look for Whales, author Alinka Rutkowska sends her adventuring family up to Alaska. Maya and Filippo live on the Fun Princess, a cruise ship, with their parents and cat. They travel all over the world, and the kids have adventures in every port. This time, they're visiting Ketchikan, the first port of call in Alaska. Maya and Filippo tour the town and learn about the history and stories carved into the totem poles they see. They also learn about the salmon in the water and hear a mythological tale about the Salmon Chief. Maya really wants to see a whale, and Filippo advises that she visualize seeing one. She pictures it and, suddenly, the two kids are invited on a whale cruise where Maya's wish comes true.

Alinka Rutkowska's children's book has a geography lesson hidden within it that will please both kids and their parents. The illustrations by Konrad Checinski are both fun and educational, and include a map of Alaska and a drawing of a whale complete with baleen. Their understated simplicity is quite elegant and should encourage artistic kids to try their own hand at drawing. I particularly enjoyed the mythological story of the fisherman and his meeting with the Salmon Chief. There's also a great message in the tale about the power of visualization. Maya & Filippo Look for Whales is a picture book that illustrates how learning and having adventures can be fun, and it's highly recommended.

Mamta Madhavan

Maya & Filippo Look for Whales by Alinka Rutkowska is one of the books in the delightful series of Maya & Filippo adventures. This book will encourage children to travel, discover new things, and be adventurous. Maya and Filippo are brother and sister, and also the best of friends. They love travelling along with their parents and cat Othello all over the world in their ship, the Fun Princess. They like to explore and do different things every day while travelling. This book takes young readers on a trip to Alaska and they learn about the culture, food, and important things to see in Saxman Native Village, a place in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Readers are told about the myths and stories surrounding totem poles in Alaska, which are informative and educational. The book, on the whole, is an educational trip. These kinds of story books will give children a lot of information about diverse topics. Books for children are incomplete without pictures. The illustrations in this book are bright and colorful and attract children towards the story. The characters gain life and momentum with the help of the illustrations. The joyful vibe that surrounds the story is good for children.

I would recommend the book to be added to personal collections and also be kept in school libraries. Teachers can use it for read-aloud sessions in classrooms as it introduces a lot of new things to children. The fun of travelling and discovering new places is made even more interesting through this story.