The Real Book About Whales and Whaling

Plumfield Kids Book Review by Jack Masarik, age 11

This “Real Book About” is a scientific book about Whales. This book is not my favorite book for many reasons, but the main one is that it starts slowly, explaining each and every kind of whale. But even with a slow beginning, it makes up for it in the other half of the book, which is about whaling. 

The first half of this book is dedicated to the whale itself. From page thirteen to page twenty-eight, it explains how the whale used to be a ground animal and how it became a sea animal, and how it eats and moves, and that the whale’s nasal passages are not connected to its throat, so the whale can eat under the water and not drown. From page twenty-nine to sixty-six, it explains all the kinds of whales, from the baleen whales to the killer whales.

There are many fascinating and funny facts in this book, even though it has a slow beginning. One of them is that the story of Jonah and the whale is actually possible, and not only is it possible, but it actually happened. It happened to a sailor named James Bartly, who fell overboard and got swallowed alive by a Sperm whale. He was rescued twenty-four hours later when the whale was killed. According to this account, he was a little unbalanced for two weeks. This feat would not be able to be done by a Baleen whale, because its throat is too small, but the Sperm whale’s throat is big enough to swallow a person.

The second half is more interesting than the first half. It tells us about whaling and how the whalers hunted the whale and processed it. There are a lot of quotes from Moby dick because there really are no reports of whaling.

I liked this book, but it is not my favorite. I wasn’t a big fan of, and didn’t know much about whales and whaling, but since I read this book I have liked and appreciated it more than I did before. I hope that you will like this book more than I did.   

You can learn more about this book at You can purchase this book as a used book at Amazon.