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The Whale's Tale by Edwina Harvey

01/06/2010. Contributed by Rod MacDonald

Buy The Whale's Tale in the USA - or Buy The Whale's Tale in the UK

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pub: Peggy Bright Books. 235 page. Price: $19.95 (AUS). ISBN: 978-0-98069-980-7.

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This is a novel for children which incorporates the author's love of whales, dolphins and other intelligent mammal life living in the sea. It's a great pity that because of our ineptitude and failings we are unable to properly appreciate these beings, even to the extent that we still kill them in large numbers. If only we could properly communicate with them.

Edwina Harvey provides some hope for humans with her novel, 'The Whale's Tale', because in this future world they have managed to communicate with whales and dolphins, recognising them as complex intelligent beings, even going with them on voyages to the stars. The Whaling Fleet has got nothing to do with the indiscriminate massacre of whales. Fortunately, it has more to do with huge spaceships which take Earth's intelligence to the depths of space. Travelling in massive ships containing water, whales are now swimming in the oceans of interstellar space much as they used to swim in the oceans of Earth.

This scenario is the backdrop to the novel. In fact, it seems to be the case that whales have become the saviours of mankind and it is through their efforts that space travel has become a permanent reality. In a turnaround to expectation, they seem to be the dominant species from Earth.

What do these whales do on their galactic tours? Unlike humans, they do not go about making a nuisance of themselves in an orgy of destruction, conquest, empire-building and slaughter, rather they take their songs for others to hear.

The story concerns itself with a Japanese teenage girl called Uki who makes a transgression against one of whales by the name of Targe. Resulting from this, the girl has to go on an interstellar tour with the whale, both parties not been totally enamoured about the situation. Charlie the dolphin is a sort of mediator between the two and he thinks he's had a rough deal. However, Uki has a surprise for them all, including herself, when she develops a special talent. Maybe everything was not so bad after all.

Not only is this book very readable, it's unusual as well. Aimed at its target audience, I'm sure it will be very successful but because of its interesting perspective there will also be an appeal to all ages. Having dialogue between whales, humans and dolphins is a challenging task. It's all accomplished by telepathy of course and considering purchasing this novel is worth more than a thought or two.

Rod MacDonald

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