Ida and the Whale

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

First of all, the cover is very well done. It was what drew me first; the art and illustration. To me, it has a dreamy and calming effect.

This book promotes daydreaming, which I think is extremely important for children. It’s great for their brain development in the creativity section.

Whales swim, right? In this book, they fly! Okay, so they fly around the world? Nope, THIS whale flies to the stars! In just a few pages the authors will effectively spark curiosity. This will encourage little ones to think outside the box, persuade them to be brave and defy norms, and let them know it’s okay.

This book is unlike other books that have a single main theme to concentrate upon the whole book. This book’s ‘main theme’ is abstract thinking and daydreaming. It jumps from one topic to another in the turn of a page. So, effectively, there are multiple lessons packed in a single book. Every time your little one opens the book, she might learn something new, according to her experience that day. It teaches to view from others’ perspectives. It teaches the fundamental rock of science that is observation, and so much more.

At the very end of the book, there is a very nice and cute summation of the things pointed out in the book, in the concept of ‘a ship in a bottle’.
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The illustrations are beautiful. I love the quite minimalistic style that contrasts to Idas bright red hair and her yellow boots. And all the shades of blue, truly marvelous! It captures the atmosphere really well. Unfortunately, the story isn't that good. The plot is quite abstract and too philosophical for a childrens book .I don't see the point of Idas journey.
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Inspiring and imaginative, this book could be used to spark the creativity and dreams of young children. With magical illustrations and the thoughts of Ida we are taken on a journey as she tries to answer some of the big questions in her mind. 

As a story it doesn’t make a huge amount of sense, but do the thoughts of a child always make sense? Expressing the dreams and thoughts of a lonely young girl, guided by a whale who appears at her window, this story is touching and reflective. 

I received a free advanced copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley  in exchange for an honest review
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What a lovely and adorable, little book! “Ida and the Whale” is a sweet and entertaining tale of a little girl called Ida who lives alone in a tree-house and her new friend, the flying whale. 

When I opened this wonderful book, my first thoughts were how absolutely gorgeously it had been illustrated by Simon Röthlisberger. 

The book is cute and charming yet still evokes so much mood and emotion. The author, Rebecca Gugger tells the story very well and the use of vocabulary and the dialogue are strong.

This whimsical book communicates a positive message about feelings, normality and loneliness. The text is straight-forward and easy to understand for small ones and it is nicely complemented by good, strong artwork. The book is very well balanced between the story and the message it delivers.

I found the story of “Ida and the Whale” entertaining and winsome and I would definitely recommend it. I think it would make a lovely choice for anyone looking for an addition to their family library. 

Thank you to NetGalley and North South Books Inc. for the complimentary ARC. This is my honest and totally voluntary opinion.
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A fairly philosophical picture book. Its a reflection on making an effort, reaching for a dream. It doesn't have a plot, per se. It's more of a conversation, thoughts on an issue rather than events and reactions. Truly lovely art, though.
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One of the beautiful things about children is their curiosity about the world around them. “Ida and the Whale” takes a young mind on a journey to answer some of her important life questions. These illustrations were gorgeous and stretched the limits of the imagination.
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“Ida and the Whale” is delightful. The illustrations by Simon Röthlisberger are simply gorgeous. The colors, depth, and detail really carry the whole book. The storyline by Rebecca Gugger is fun and fantastical. Full of whimsy and adventure that are sure to spark the imagination of readers at any age.
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'Ida and the Whale' by Rebecca Gugger with illustrations by Simon Rothlisberger is a kind of magical picture book about a little girl with an unusual friend.

Ida is a little girl that lives in a treehouse and wonders what is beyond the sun and stars.  One night, she is awakened by a loud thump and wakes to find a large whale outside her window.   As they fly and talk they visit strange worlds and learn that things like flowers die so they can live again.  Ida learns that if you feel lonely, you still can have a friend who thinks of you.

Does it make any sense?  Not so much, but the illustrations are magical and the story is still strangely touching.  I think a book like this can really spark the imagination and dreams of a young reader.

I received a review copy of this ebook from NorthSouth Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.
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The illustrations were lovely! I think Simon Röthlisberger did an amazing job bringing Rebecca Gugger's words to life. The story felt a little random and nonsensical, but there were a few memorable moments. The whale takes Ida on an incredible journey, and shares bits of wisdom along the way. "Some quicker, some slower, but all of us grow." I thought it was an enjoyable story that my children could understand and relate to. However, now my son wants a whale to show up at his window to take him on an adventure!

Originally posted at Do You Dog-ear? on January 4, 2019.
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Ida and the Whale is a picturebook written by Rebecca Gugger and illustrated by Simon Röthlisberger. It was recently translated into English and will be released in the states on April 2 2019. What lies behind the sun, the moon, and the stars? Ida can’t stop thinking about these and other very important questions. Then one night, a flying whale wakes her and takes her on an amazing journey—where some of her questions are answered and even more created.

Ida and the Whale is a beautifully illustrated story about wonder and imagination. It is worth looking at for the artstyle alone, to be honest. I loved the colors and use of motion and line on each page. The story is gentle and soothing, and I think it would work well as a bedtime story or to help settle young readers for a quiet play or story time. I did find the text to be a little dull in comparison to the artwork. However, I think that was more because of translation than anything to do with the author.  In picturebooks word choice is so important to the flow, and translations do not always hold the intended rhythm and feel as the original.
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Beautiful illustrations and beautifully written to inspire little ones with their curious hearts. This books inspires the imagination and fun to be had, giving dreams to children. One I will read again and again to my children and others.
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Title: Ida and the Whale
Author: Rebecca Gugger
Illustrator: Simon Roethlisberger

The Story:
Gazing out of her high-up tree house, Ida wonders about what lies beyond the stars. Then a gigantic flying whale takes her on an unexpected adventure to find out. Constantly playing with opposites, the gigantic whale answers tiny Ida’s big questions. Ida sees a world where everything is upside down (even the text of the story!) and learns that you can be close to someone even when you can’t see them.

Favourite Spread:
I was hooked by the quirky premise of this book: a gigantic flying whale. And my favourite spread is when we first met the whale and see his vast size. Yet something about this incredibly beautiful illustration instantly made me feel like a gigantic flying whale was entirely possible. I adored the illustrations throughout.

The Verdict:
This story has an irresistible premise with spectacular illustrations that guide you through a magical world. It is a lovely, heart-warming story of friendship and self-discovery.

Picture Book Perfect Rating:
Four out of five stars.

Publisher: North-South Books
Publication date: 2 April 2019
ISBN: 978 0735843417

I am very grateful to the publisher for providing me with an advanced digital copy via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
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I read this to my 4 and 6 year old sons. The pictures were awesome and very entertaining. The story was a little odd and didn't flow as well as stories we like to read at night.  This book might help a child that feels scared when they are alone but I added to the story based on what I saw in the pictures.
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Gorgeous, otherworldly illustrations that make excellent use of lighting and colour, with a layered style. Celebrates questioning the nature of things, asking big questions and the power of imagination.
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I will definitely be buying this children's book for my little girls library. So, I obviously already recommend this sweet book.

The illustrations blew me away, each page was beautifully painted and the word layouts were placed very nicely. 

This is a beautiful book on the power of imagination of a little girl at its finest! I LOVED the different worlds in a bottle. Like a ship in a bottle except it's a world instead.
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Do you want to open a world of imagination to your child? Well, Ida and the Whale is the book to do it.

I read picture books to my kids from the first week they were born until they were about twelve. Yes, they can read just fine on their own. But reading a picture book aloud is just a glorious way to spend time together. You look at the pictures, read the words together.

This book is a beautiful and gentle adventure that a young girl takes with a whale. Yes, that’s right – a whale!

Together they travel to the heavens and explore constellations of animals and new fantastic worlds.

Every page is absolutely stuffed with activities you can do with your children. After you have read the story through once or twice, sit down with just a page and ask your child, how many animals do you see here? What are their names?

You can play I Spy and have your child hunt for colors or numbers of objects. There are so many, many way for you to explore together! All it takes is a little imagination.

This book for moms and kids is an amazing adventure story. I highly recommend it for your library!
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A visually stunning and surprisingly deep philosophical children’s book that perfectly captures the curiousity, imagination and humor of children. It’s a delightful story full of adventure and friendship that I think will quickly become any imaginative child’s favorite.
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I received an electronic ARC from NorthSouth Books through NetGalley.
A delightful story of a young girl who lives alone in a tree. She yearns to see beyond this world. A large blue flying whale comes by and together they head off on adventures. Ida learns to listen and see what's happening around her. Her world broadens as she listens to the whale's advice.
The illustrations are full of details for readers to explore. Don't miss the adventures in bottles on Ida's wall from beginning to end of the book.
Beautiful book to share with elementary level readers.
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This review will be published on March 26, 2019, NetGalley will be updated with additional social media links once published.

Title: Ida and the Whale
Author: Rebecca Gugger
Illustrator: Simon Röthlisberger
Genre: Children's Books, Picture Books
Publisher: North South Books
Date: March 26, 2019
Length: 32 pages
NetGalley review copy
What lies behind the sun, the moon, and the stars?
Ida can’t stop thinking about these and other very important questions. Then one night, a flying whale wakes her and takes her on an amazing journey—where some of her questions are answered and even more created.
This gentle, philosophical tale is a visual treat sure to fill curious little listeners with wonder.
Description from NetGalley
Oooh, I'm a sucker for watercolor illustrations, so this book definitely had my attention. I have always enjoyed reading stories to classes that got the kids thinking, discussing, and building off each other's ideas. I was hoping this book might be one that got those types of discussions started... and it kinda was.

What I liked
Imagery: Röthlisberger's lovely watercolors went from simple to a detailed twist of perception. There was almost an MC Escher quality to some of the illustrations that really pull you in and make you want to explore each page. This was a visually engaging book. (I know some art teachers who would love to use Ida and The Whale for a variety of units.)

Played with word placement and color: I really liked how Gugger's text would wave, stretch, or fade as it fit the story. The font wasn't constantly changing like a Geronimo Stilton book, it was generally one word per page. It's an element that worked well with the story and the illustrations.

What I'm on the fence about

Philosophical-ish: Yes, there are some statements like, "Sometimes there is more to see than you think," or, "sometimes you can only understand others if you stand on your head" that kids can discuss or wonder over. But the "philosophy" seemed to be more opposite statements than something designed to make you think. It reminded me a lot of Audrey Wood's Bright and Early Thursday Evening, except far less manic in pace.

Not a great read aloud: This book is better for a one-on-one or family read as opposed to a large group read for a class. A lot of the book's ideas are communicated through the pictures, but the details are small and it's better if children have the opportunity to really look at the illustrations. Being a good read aloud or not isn't a book killer, but it's something I automatically think of as a school librarian.

What didn't work for me

I can't put my finger on it: The story seemed to abruptly change with each idea that it briefly explored. Is it because it's a translation and something was lost in the switch to English? Is it a storytelling style that I'm not familiar with? The book just seemed more like strung together ideas as opposed to a cohesive story.

Rating: 3.0
Ida and the Whale is a quiet story with engrossing illustrations. Visually the book is fantastic. I think it's a great choice for kids who, like me, can spend a lot of time inspecting the pictures and finding hidden little gems. The narrative has some nice elements but never seems to add up to whole story. Would I buy this for my school library, most likely. Would I recommend it for a family purchase? Eh, not really. Pick this one up from your library.
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I am in love with this book! What a beautifully illustrated magical tale for both parents (or teachers) and kids. The children's books I read and review are books I read with my girls (4 and 2.5) on the Kindle or tablet, but I'm saving this one to be read when I can purchase a physical copy. I really enjoyed the ideas of mystery and wonder here, as well as friendship and how we are all different and grow at different paces and to different sizes.
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