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|Author: Sally Hodson
Illustrator: Ann Jones
Retail Price: Paperback • $8.95
Just imagine—you are a young orca whale. Your special friends are two cousins and your 100 year-old great grandmother, the clan leader. You learn to play with them, face danger with them, hunt with them—and even go people-watching with them! Based on actual orca, or killer whale, research, this book combines science with the real story of how family, friendship, and a grandmother’s love are helping this magnificent but endangered orca clan to survive.
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- 2013 Izaak Walton League Book of the Year Award
- 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award (1st Place)
“Hodson’s debut introduces children to one matrilineal group of orcas living in the Pacific Northwest, an actual group of whales that has been studied by scientists for over 40 years.
What will strike readers most is how familylike the whales are. Granny, believed to be about 100 years old, nudges her newborn grandson to the surface for his first breath of air. She has valuable knowledge of the waters and salmon habits, which she passes on to Suttles and Mako as the group hunts together, sonar clicks helping them “see” their environment. Hodson lightly sketches relationships among the group, the energetic Suttles and Mako both competing and sharing as they learn to hunt, and Ruffles offering a fish to the new mother. In the end, Granny calls many matrilineal groups together to a superpod gathering, the whales greeting one another before responding vocally to the Orca Sing of the people lining the coast. . . . and Jones does a nice job of depicting Granny and Ruffles, though the other family members are less individuated. Backmatter tells of the real clan of orcas that inspired the story and fleshes out the information presented.
Certain to get children interested in learning more about this endangered and very social specie”
— Kirkus Reviews (September 2012)
“Killer whales—orcas—are to the sea what we are to the land—intelligent, social, talkative, and playful. I love this story of Granny and her family, the J pod. Granny’s Clan perfectly combines wonderful storytelling and beautiful illustrations to captivate young minds and help them to appreciate that every individual matters, every species counts. As my late father, Jacques Cousteau, used to say, “people protect what they love.” After reading this story you will fall in love with orcas.”
— Jean-Michel Cousteau, filmmaker &founder of Ocean Futures Society (July 2012)