Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
If You Want to See a Whale

If You Want to See a Whale

Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin E. Stead

Roaring Brook Press



If you want to see a whale, you will need to know what not to look at.

Pink roses, pelicans, possible pirates . . .

If you want to see a whale, you have to keep your eyes on the sea, and wait . . .

and wait . . . and wait . . .

In this quiet and beautiful picture book by Julie Fogliano and Erin E. Stead, the team that created the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor book And Then It's Spring, a boy learns exactly what it takes to catch a glimpse of an elusive whale. This title has Common Core connections.

A Neal Porter Book

A Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of 2013
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2013

Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year, Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year, Green Earth Book Award Honor Book, CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI), Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, Capitol Choices Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens


Praise for If You Want to See a Whale

“To find a picture book that attempts to explore the patient, persistent and solitary pursuit at the heart of creativity is unusual; to find one that succeeds in making such an abstract process comprehensible to children is extraordinary....The author-illustrator team responsible for the bestselling "And Then It's Spring" has again produced something truly unique, melding a hypnotic text with translucent, light-filled illustrations that invite young readers to climb aboard, row diligently, keep looking and experience the wonder of the journey for themselves.” —The Washington Post

“Fogliano's words are carved and measured. This is a writer who takes her time, and the leaps she makes with language surprise and thrill.” —The New York Times

“A gorgeous love song to the imagination . . . It's breathtaking . . . Fans will be waiting.” —Booklist, starred review

“Readers will gape at the two enormous, whale-sized talents at work in this transfixing picture book.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Stead’s pencil and linoleum prints—as delicate, understated, and imaginative as ever—take exciting creative license with Fogliano’s expressive writing.” —Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

“The same pair that brought us And Then It's Spring (rev. 1/12) returns with a book that has a similar overall feel but a completely different story. . . this one takes on the possibility of imagination.” —The Horn Book

“Her [Stead's] work is often a study in composition, with horizon lines recurring like a chorus, counterpointed with subtle or strong diagonals and swoops. The whale itself is legitimately humongous yet also clearly wise and benign, politely presenting itself to the presumably well-pleased whale searchers. This could be an inducement to some imaginary eyes-shut travel, or just an offbeat choice for sending kids off to dreamland.” —BCCB

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin E. Stead

Julie Fogliano has spent her entire life reading children's books. Now she stays up way too late writing her own books while eating cereal. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband and their three children. They make her very tired, but give her lots of good ideas. If You Want to See a Whale is her second book. Her first was the New York Times bestseller And Then It's Spring, which received five starred reviews.

Erin E. Stead first met Julie Fogliano while working together in a New York City bookstore. Today she lives in a 100-year-old barn in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her husband, Philip, who is an author and illustrator, and with whom she created A Sick Day for Amos McGee, winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal, as well as Bear has a Story to Tell. She also illustrated Julie Fogliano's And Then It's Spring. Erin created the illustrations for If You Want to See a Whale using woodblock printing techniques and pencil.

Julie Fogliano

Enid Esmond

Erin E. Stead

Reading Guide

For Parents and Educators

Get the Activity Guide

Download the If You Want to See a Whale projects for children to do at home and in the classroom

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Teacher's Guide

From the Publisher

Roaring Brook Press

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