The North Atlantic right whale, also called the “urban” whale for its proximity to industrialized regions of North America’s east coast, is one of the largest whales in the world. Averaging 14 metres, and weighing about 40,000 kilograms, it is known for its graceful tail, callosities, lack of dorsal fins, and strong bond with its young. But historically, it was known as the “right” whale to kill, and has been commercially hunted for its abundant blubber and oil since the tenth century.
Considered nearly extinct by the 1950s, the population slowly began to recover due to conservation efforts in the late twentieth-century. But commercial fishing-related deaths in recent years, including the loss of at least seventeen right whales (2% of the population) in the summer of 2017, put the species at a level of critical endangerment. The next few decades will determine whether it survives.
Offering background on the whale’s history, unique biology and behaviour, information on what is killing them and how readers can help, The North Atlantic Right Whale is an important, accessible book that will spark action and increased awareness of the plight of this majestic creature.
Joann Hamilton-Barry is a librarian in Saint John, New Brunswick and the author of the Hackmatack Award-shortlisted Oak Island the Search for Buried Treasure, published in 2015. There be Pirates: Swashbucklers & Rogues of the Atlantic was published in 2018 and Resource Links gave it an ‘E’ indicating that it is ‘excellent’ and ‘enduring’, with the recommendation that ‘everyone should see it’. CM: Canadian Review of Materials said ‘This five star book is a must for public library shelves, teachers covering the topic in their classroom or school library, and for any child or child at heart with an interest in swashbucklers and rogues’. Her first book Boldly Canadian: the Story of the RCMP was published by Kids Can Press in 1999.
Her next book, North Atlantic Right Whale: Past, Present and Future will be released by Nimbus in May 2019.
Joann is a former teacher and was a children’s librarian for nearly twenty years. She has had a lifelong fascination with all things related to islands, beaches, boats, the ocean, and the creatures who live there. Joann gets very excited when she finds a little known and neat fact to share with readers young and old. She enjoys visiting schools to tell students about her books and to get them excited about reading, research, and libraries. In the last few years she has given more than 50 talks about her books to over 1800 kids.
Joann has lived in seven provinces and one territory and enjoys exploring all parts of Canada. She is the proud mother of two grown children, Alex and Hope. Her favourite activities include reading, cooking and walking her dog with her best friend and husband, Nick Barry.
Nova Scotia–based paper-doll artist Briana Corr Scott’s first children’s picture book explores the wilds of the childhood imagination and of the shape-shifting Sable Island.
Written as a gentle, lyrical poem, She Dreams of Sable Island is a wonderful read-aloud for bedtime, and a fact-filled exploration for curious readers who dream of adventuring to one of Nova Scotia’s most remarkable—and untouched—landscapes. Includes an illustrated map of Sable Island, descriptions of flora and fauna found on the island, a paper doll and accessories—even a Sable Island horse!
BRIANA CORR SCOTT was born in Salem, MA, and grew up in New Hampshire. Her love of painting began early in life, and
continued during her studies at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. She moved to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, in 2006, where she lives with her husband and three young children. She now works from a home studio, and her paintings and poems are inspired by the natural world, particularly the Nova Scotia coast. She Dreams of Sable Island is her first book.
All day at school, Rocky stares out the window, imagining fishing boats sailing across the sky. He wants nothing more than to fish for lobster with his dad, and finally one season he’s old enough to go along.
Before dawn, Rocky, Dad and sister Patsy untie their boat and head out to sea. Surrounded by the vast expanse of sky and water, Rocky feels as free as a seagull. His dad steers toward their first buoy, then pulls up a line of traps full of lobster. Rocky learns how to band their claws, then Patsy rebaits the traps and shoves them back into the sea. It takes a full day to haul up, empty, rebait and re-set three hundred traps, but Rocky loves every minute of it. “If the salt’s still in your veins when you’re Patsy’s age, you can leave school and fish all you want,” his dad tells him.
Anne Laurel Carter’s story is inspired by the childhood memories of Rocky Gaudet, who grew up wanting to fish the sea like his Acadian ancestors. He continues to fish for lobster in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia today. Marianne Dumas’ naïve watercolor illustrations recall Rocky’s first fishing experience.
Anne Laurel Carter divides her time between Toronto and Nova Scotia where she lives at the mouth of the Lahave River. Rocky
Gaudet and his wife live in her house during lobster season so Rocky can keep living his dream and fish the sea.