Saturday, April 20, 2019

Review - L’été de la petite baleine

L’été de la petite baleine (Le petit Gnouf)
by Dominique Demers
illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard
Date: 2018
Publisher: Dominique et compagnie
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: hardcover
Source: library

Le petit Gnouf et Mirabelle sont fous de joie. Ils vont voir la mer pour la première fois de leur vie. Mais à peine arrivés sur le bord de l'océan, Mirabelle et son ami sont alertés par un son de détresse. Un bébé baleine gît sur le sable, prisonnier d’un filet de pêche. N'écoutant que leur grand cœur, le petit Gnouf et Mirabelle feront tout pour le sauver.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I'm still not quite sure what this one is all about. Mirabelle and the little Gnouf (whatever that is) go to the beach for the first time. They see a baby whale stranded and caught in a fishing net. This sets in motion the rest of the story, with the two trying to rescue the whale and get her back to her mother.

There were a lot of words in here that I struggled with, including at the part where it explained something about Gnoufs (they were created to... save the world? I'm not sure). I also don't understand why Mirabelle has a name and the little Gnouf doesn't; as far as I can tell, his "name" is just a descriptor. (But I might be wrong.)

In any case, the illustrations are probably the best part of this book. They're actually kind of lovely, with soft colours and cute characters. I have no idea what Mirabelle and the little Gnouf are supposed to be (they sort of look like mice with very large ears, but they don't have tails). I did notice, however, that on the page that described the sea life in the water, there were no seahorses... even though the text mentioned them.

There are other books in this series, so maybe they explain the Gnoufs a little better than this one did. The basic premise of the story (the rescue of the baby whale) is fine. But I'm still a bit confused about these fantasy creatures and what their purpose is.

Premise: 3/5
Story: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.33 out of 5

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