The Whale by Ethan Murrow

The Whale

Written by Ethan Murrow
Illustrated by

RRP £12.99


The Whale by Ethan Murrow

There is a legend that a Great Spotted Whale lives in the ocean; local fishermen still talk of it, although the first sighting fifty years ago was never corroborated. Now, two young whale watchers each set out to find the whale, one armed with sound recording equipment, the other a camera. Mid-ocean their boats collide, so they pool their resources and set off together to capture incontrovertible proof that the mythical Great Spotted Whale exists. The eventual sighting is a magical moment: the whale is truly phenomenal, and swimming along beside her are two small whale calves. The children return to shore, solid proof in hand. As an added twist to the story, they discover that it was their own grandparents who first sighted the Great Spotted Whale fifty years ago. The Murrow's epic, wordless adventure is brought to life with Ethan's stunning graphite drawings, which convey the drama and haunting beauty of the ocean, and capture the majesty of this awe-inspiring creature.


When two young intrepid explorers set out to find the legendary Great Spotted Whale, they get much more than they bargained for. In this sublime wordless picture book by Ethan and Vita Murrow, the detailed-filled pages play out this epic story with eerily dramatic graphite illustrations.

The nature of the profound black and white spreads with varying hues of grey, further add to the haunting beauty and inconceivable vastness of the ocean. The blackness of the the deep, dark sea against the pale grey tones of the tiny boat merely emphasises the vulnerability of the young explorers and adds a palpable underlying tension to their search.

The newspaper articles scattered throughout the book add a layer of additional detail which makes the unexpected ending even more magical.

Charlotte's favourite bit: Girl and Boy working together furiously to combine their two shattered boats into one awesome whale-detecting vessel.

's ardent endeavors. Photorealistic graphite drawings stretch across pages, bringing sea spray, wires, lenses, wooden planks, waves, ropes, and frayed fabric into penetrating focus. These extraordinary black-and-white illustrations, etched with details, crosshatches, shadows, and shading, charge the children's expedition with a pulsing, breathless urgency. Their preternatural technical proficiencies and passion-fueled mission emerge somehow as entirely believable. More astounding is the artist's uncanny ability to reproduce the murky transparency of rippling ocean water, a whale submerged silently just beneath. Wordless, with masterful artwork and an intriguing narrative undertow, this whale's tale will transfix. * Kirkus Reviews * In this sublime wordless picture book, the detailed-filled pages play out this epic story with eerily dramatic graphite illustrations. Set your own narrative to this dramatic adventure and get lost in the detail of each unfurling spread. -- Picture Books Blogger Wordless, with masterful artwork and an intriguing narrative undertow, this whale's tale will transfix. -- Kirkus Starred review'

About the Author

Ethan Murrow received his B.A. from Carleton College and his M.F.A from the University of North Carolina. Based in Boston, he shows his drawing, film and video work internationally, and has exhibited in Paris, New York, Seattle and Los Angeles. Collaborating with wife Vita and Harvest Films the short, Dust, was an official selection of the 2008 New York Film Festival. Ethan is currently a faculty member at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Vita Murrow has an MS Ed in General Education and Teaching Literacy from the Bank Street College of Education, and holds a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. She is currently Director of the Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy at the Jewish Community Relations Council. She has a deep passion for children's media and literature, and has worked as an Educational Consultant, and in children's media and television in the films department at the Sesame Workshop. She is also a motion media artist and filmmaker.

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Book Info


32 pages


Ethan Murrow
More books by Ethan Murrow


Big Picture Press an imprint of Templar Publishing

Publication date

1st September 2015



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