Granny’s Clan: A Tale of Wild Orcas

Granny’s Clan: A Tale of Wild Orcas is a beautifully written and illustrated story from the point of view of a 100-year-old orca whale and her real-life, much studied Pacific Northwest pod. Illustrator Ann Jones immediately draws the reader in with beautifully drawn ocean scenes, and author Sally Hodson—a teacher and environmental-science and animal-behavior expert—keeps us there by personifying the book’s whale granny and her pod in a way relatable to humans: “Little one, I am here to help.” And it’s those strong familial bonds that come through as she describes the orca behavior: “The family travels on. They dive together. They rise together. They breathe together. They call to each other to keep the family together.” What is most effective, however, is when Hodson’s simple-yet-effective imagery illuminates how humans are interfering with our whale friends: “Graceful sailboats groan. Swift speedboats whine. Stout ferries clang. Busy fishing boats chug. Huge tankers rumble. Noise drowns out the family’s call to each other.” Humans might seem oceans apart from whales, especially to kids, but this latest eco-literacy release from Dawn can help bridge the distance.