Running through the heart of Paris,
the smooth river in the City of Light –
is that a submarine or a whale?
We don’t have reported whale sightings in Paris during World War II, but young ones definitely can become separated from their pod when disoriented by percussive noises like bomb blasts.
Hope, determination, and Mama’s ukelele – that’s all that Chantal and Franklin have to aid them during the long and perilous trip back to the sea.
What is the hope that you cling to during terrible times?
Book info: A Whale in Paris: How It Happened That Chantal Duprey Befriended a Whale During the Second World War and Helped Liberate France / Daniel Presley & Claire Polders; illustrated by Erin McGuire. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2018. [Daniel’s author site] [Claire’s author site] [illustrator site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Miraculously, despite German soldiers swarming through Chantal’s beloved Paris, a whale appears in the Seine River!
Such hope it brings to the war-weary citizens! So angry are the Germans that it won’t obey their orders! The 12 year old names him “Franklin” after the American president who has promised to liberate France.
But food is so scarce in 1944, and some Parisians say that Franklin is eating all the river fish, that perhaps he should be feeding them instead!
Why did this wonderful sea beast come so far up the river?
Can Chantal convince Franklin to go away to safety?
Can she overcome her fear of the water that claimed her mother and go with him?
In the darkest days of World War II for Paris, a young whale and a young woman race to rescue Papa and Aunt Sophie from prison.