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Children's Nonfiction Environmental Conservation & Protection

Whales to the Rescue

How Whales Help Engineer the Planet

by (author) Adrienne Mason

illustrated by Kim Smith

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2022
Environmental Conservation & Protection, Marine Life, Environmental Science & Ecosystems
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2022
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 12
  • Grade: 3 to 7
  • Reading age: 8 to 12


It's not just humans working to combat global warming. Meet the ecosystem engineers who are improving our planet's health!

In this unique look at how one animal can make a difference for the planet, Adrienne Mason, a marine biologist, reveals how whales are ecosystem engineers --- animals that create, modify or maintain a habitat or ecosystem. Whales do this by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. They store a large amount of carbon in their bodies for decades, even centuries; when they die, they sink to the ocean floor, taking their carbon with them. Whales also deposit nutrients into the ocean that help feed phytoplankton, which, in turn, draw carbon out of the atmosphere and into the ocean during photosynthesis. More carbon in the ocean means less carbon in the atmosphere --- all thanks to whales!

Using a highly visual approach and a slow build of concepts, this fascinating book explores how whales play an essential role in maintaining a healthy ocean and, by extension, a healthy and biodiverse planet. Nearly half the book provides information on whales, including types of whales, what they eat and poop and how they migrate. It then moves on to describe the consequences of a warming planet and the ways that whales can help. Kim Smith's stunning art brings the concepts to life. Part of the Ecosystem Guardians series, this book has strong STEM connections in life and environmental science, with curriculum links to biodiversity, ecosystems, food webs and animal habitats and characteristics. It contains a glossary, resources, information on how children can help and an index.

About the authors

Adrienne Mason is a writer, editor and life-long resident of Vancouver Island. A biologist and naturalist/interpreter, she is the managing editor of KNOW: The Science Magazine for Curious Kids. She has a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Victoria, and her articles have appeared in National Geographic Kids, WILD, Canadian Geographic, Georgia Straight, Beautiful BC, OWL, Ranger Rick, Boys' Life and Nature Canada. She lives in Tofino, BC, and enjoys hiking, beachcombing and exploring the coast with her husband and two daughters.

Adrienne Mason's profile page

Kim Smith lives in Calgary, Alberta. This is her first children's book. When not illustrating for children, Kim illustrates comics. Her illustrations have been featured in advertising as well as in two comic collections, The Anthology Project and The Anthology Project, Volume Two. She graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2008 with a Bachelor of Design specializing in character design.

Kim Smith's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Sure to be a welcome addition to school libraries and classrooms, this is an appealing and well-written title on a popular subject.

School Library Journal

Definitely not the usual fare insofar as books on whales go, Whales to the Rescue is well worthy of purchase.

CM Magazine

Definitely not the usual fare insofar as books on whales go, Whales to the Rescue is well worthy of purchase.—CM Magazine

This fascinating story is sure to captivate young conservationists.—School Library Journal (Praise for Bringing Back the Wolves)

Tailor-made for classroom units on biodiversity, and fun to explore as well.—Booklist (Praise for Bringing Back the Wolves)

“Makes a whale of a case for the importance of cetaceans.”

Kirkus Reviews

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