Saturday, January 25, 2020

April Sayre’s Book Here Come the Humpbacks!

A female humpback swims away to quiet shallows. Her blue-gray head, bumpy as a pickle, lifts and looks. It is February. She is expecting—something big, something soon. The time has come.

Here Come the Humpbacks! My new nonfiction picture book, illustrated by Jamie Hogan of Maine, traces the migration of a humpback whale from the Caribbean to Stellwagen Banks near New England. The main narrative text is supplemented by expository sidebars. It’s a tad older, longer read than some of my youngest picture books. It’s a good pairing with Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! because it traces some of the environmental challenges along the migrating animal’s journey. NSTA Recommends has commentary on how to use it in science units and NC Teacher Stuff‘s STEM Friday post mentions using it in teaching different kinds of nonfiction writing.  It was named a NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book and also a Bank Street Best Book for the year.

Awards & Recognition
  • "This book stands out among books about whales because of its personal, interactive text, its rich expansive illustrations, and its detailed, scientific information....Sayre's scientifically researched offset notes practically beg to be included in a unit on sea life, migration, or whales. -NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) Recommends, Stella Robbins
  • "The primary text is an easier narrative while the secondary text is more informational. This is perfect for when you are teaching about different types of nonfiction." -STEM Friday, NC Teacher Stuff website
  • "The primary text features fairly short sentences, onomatopoeia and simple vocabulary to engage younger readers. Italicized asides interspersed throughout go into greater depth for older children..." -Kirkus Reviews
  • "The information is current, accurate, and arranged in a way that facilitates understanding of whales and their life cycles." -starred review (recommended), Editor's Choice, SB&F (Science Books & Films)
  • "Here come the humpbacks destined to be an early learner favorite" -Chicago Now blog
  • Named an Outstanding Science Tradebook by NSTA
Teaching Resources
Readers’ Comments

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Grade Range:
Pre-K to 2nd
Publish Date:
February 1, 2013


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