Thursday, September 1, 2016

Abigail the Whale - a bookwrap

Today's featured book is about a little girl with an image problem.  She is overweight, knows she is, and feels so badly about it, especially on Wednesdays when it's her day to take to the pool for swimming lessons.  


"Abigail the Whale"

Authored by Davide Cali and Illustrated by Sonja Bougaeva

Ages 5-8

Unwrapping some fabulous illustrations to enjoy...

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The harsh words of bullies become insignificant as Abigail faces the waters with confidence, pigtails, and an orange polka-dotted swimsuit. Perfect for virtues programs and character building at home or in classrooms."
Foreword Reviews

About the book...

Every Wednesday Abigail attends swimming lessons, and every Wednesday she gets teased by the other kids in her class, causing her to feel humiliated and ostrasized.  Because of the way she is treated she hates swimming and just wants to run away and hide. But that's not the real reason she feels so downhearted and dejected.  Why you may ask does she feel this way then?  You see when it's Abigail turn to dive into the water she causes a tsunami because she is larger than the other kids.  After she creates a huge splash on entry they all shout at her" "Abigail's a whale!!" Poor Abigail, once she is submerged, she doesn't want to surface again and face her taunting foes.  

After class she sits down with her swimming teacher and he gives her very some wise advice.  He tells her:

"We are what we think," her teacher said. "If you want to swim well, you have to think light. Do you suppose birds or fish think they're too heavy? Of course not!"

"So if you want to feel light, think light! TRY IT!

Abigail decides to give it a shot...  after all what does she have to lose except those negative feelings about herself.  When Abigail walks home in the dark after her class feeling small and scared she thinks... GIANT! It works! Later that night in bed Abigail thinks... HEDGEHOG in its burrow ready to sleep through the winter,  and she magically falls into a deep slumber. She uses this winning technique again and again and guess what?  IT ALWAYS WORKS!!!  Hurray!!! But will it work at her swimming class?  

She uses her "think light" strategy along with buzz words like stone, rocket, barracuda, shark, submarine, speedboat, and yes, even whale to motivate her to ward off those feelings of  intimidation during her class. She accepts a challenge presented to her that before would have had her quaking right down to her toes.  Does Abigail not only succeed fulfilling that dare but even surpass her own expectations of what she is capable of?  And even more  important, does she finally overcome her dread of swimming and become a  care-free athletic whale and not an just an ordinary one like all the others?  

Abigail learns to put into place positive and creative thinking skills thus allowing her to accept and even delight in the wonderful human being she is.  This book will encourage conversations on bullying, empathy, gaining self-confidence in yourself and will certainly boost self-esteem.  I highly recommend this book.  I thoroughly enjoy it's positive message and call to creative problem solving. 

About the author...

Davide Calì began his career in 1994 as a cartoon writer for the Italian magazine Linus. He began writing children’s books in 2000, and since then he has published twenty books for children; the first four of which he illustrated himself. His book Piano Piano received a 2006 Bologna Ragazzi Special Award and the Switzerland Enfantaisies Prize. He is also the coauthor of I Can’t Wait, winner of the 2005 Baobob Prize. Calì has received the Belgium Libbylit Award, and France’s SNCF award. His books have been published in France, Italy, and Austria, and translations of his books have been published in eighteen countries. Calì lives in Genoa, Italy.

About the illustrator...

Sonja Bougaeva was born in 1975 in St Petersburg. She studied book art and painting at the Academy of Arts. Subsequently, she trained as a cartoon animator and worked in a film studio. She has lived in Hamburg since 1998. 

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