I always enjoy a sequel that begins with the admission that perhaps the happy ending of the original story might not have been so happy for everyone. It’s the bittersweet feeling that all readers experience when putting down a book they have thoroughly enjoyed. The Storm Whale certainly falls into this category.
With the Storm Whale in Winter we discover that young Noi’s successful efforts to return a whale calf to the sea have left him missing his Cetacean friend.
When winter approaches and his father also takes off for one last trip in his fishing boat, Noi finds himself feeling quite alone.
Spotting something out on the frozen sea Noi dashes out onto the ice, convinced that he has seen his fathers ship return. But the little trawler is deserted and Noi finds himself not only alone but in some danger.
Benji Davies began producing the book with this wonderfully evocative image showing Noi leaning over the boat with a lantern and discovering the storm whale has finally returned, with his whole family in tow.
The book finishes as spring returns and father and son begin to renovate the trawler, providing an unambiguously happy ending and a fine new name for the little boat. Can you guess what?
The Storm Whale in Winter is published by Simon and Schuster