All day, Whale swims through the ocean, wearing a poster advertising the big upcoming art exhibition. He visits the eel who wriggles abstract patterns in the sand, the squid who paints with ink, and the hammerhead shark who builds sculptures from salvage. Whale sees his friends' confidence and creativity and wishes he could be an artist too, but he doesn't know what to make and insists he's too ungainly to create art. Then one day, with the unexpected help of some bioluminescent plankton, he discovers his own distinct point of view and talent.
From the award-winning author-illustrator of What Animals Really Like, hailed by School Library Journal as "sublime silliness," comes another inspiring tale about defying expectation and finding the artist within.
Praise for Whale Shines
"At its core, Robinson's (What Animals Really Like) story is a tried and true tale of a wallflower realizing his potential. But her understated, offbeat voice and visuals—a mashup of classicism and graphic novel sensibilities—makes this a standout: up-to-the-minute modern in its irreverence and offhandedness, yet timeless in its understanding of a character's yearning."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Sharp contrasts between light and dark are beautiful."
"Children will embrace and understand the sincere, undervalued message of art as substantive and a way to "share one's world." This inspiring tale of artistic collaboration between the whale and bioluminescent plankton will be shared again and again."
—School Library Journal
"The watercolor and pencil art makes excellent use of the spreads' wide horizontality; while the art projects and, indeed, the underwater world are on the literal side for such an artistic-themed story, there's a murky charm to life in the briny deep... What's particularly appealing here is the casual inclusion of a wide variety of approaches to art, making this an entertaining lead-in to art projects, especially those involving the natural world."
—Bulletin of The Center for Children's Books