Life After Whale: The Amazing Ecosystem of a Whale Fall (Hardcover)

Life After Whale: The Amazing Ecosystem of a Whale Fall By Lynn Brunelle, Jason Chin (Illustrator) Cover Image

Life After Whale: The Amazing Ecosystem of a Whale Fall (Hardcover)

By Lynn Brunelle, Jason Chin (Illustrator)


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Follow a blue whale’s enormous body to the bottom of the ocean, where it sets the stage for a bustling new ecosystem to flourish.

All living things must one day die, and Earth’s largest creature, the majestic blue whale, is no exception. But in nature, death is never a true ending. When this whale closes her eyes for the last time in her 90-year life, a process known as whale fall is just beginning. Her body will float to the surface, then slowly sink through the deep; from inflated behemoth to clean-picked skeleton, it will offer food and shelter at each stage to a vast diversity of organisms, over the course of a century and beyond. 

Caldecott Medalist Jason Chin’s astonishing artwork enriches and amplifies engaging, well-researched text by Bill Nye the Science Guy writer Lynn Brunelle. Young lovers of the macabre will relish each page of Life After Whale. Meanwhile, those grappling with the hard subject of death will take solace in this honest look at the circle of life, which closes on a young whale enjoying the same waves as her ancestor. Additional back pages offer further info and reading recommendations on whales, whale falls, and ecosystems.

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
Lynn Brunelle is a four-time Emmy Award–winning writer for Bill Nye the Science Guy, the author of the bestselling books Pop Bottle Science and Camp Out!, among many other titles, and a former K-12 teacher. Her memoir Mama Gone Geek won the Independent Publishing Award Gold Medal, and her book Turn This Book into a Beehive received the Parent's Choice Award Gold Medal. A trusted science communicator, she has been featured on numerous television and radio shows, contributed to magazines and podcasts, given a TED Talk, and spoken at the UN about girls and STEM education.

Jason Chin is a celebrated author and illustrator of children’s books. He received the Caldecott Medal for his illustrations in Andrea Wang's Watercress, a Newbery Honor book and APALA award winner. His book Grand Canyon was awarded a Caldecott Honor, a Sibert Honor, and the NCTE Orbis Pictus Award. His other acclaimed nonfiction titles, including Coral Reefs, Redwoods, Gravity, Island: A Story of the Galapagos, Your Place in the Universe, and The Universe in You, have received numerous starred reviews and other accolades. He lives in Vermont with his wife and children.
Product Details ISBN: 9780823452286
ISBN-10: 082345228X
Publisher: Neal Porter Books
Publication Date: June 4th, 2024
Pages: 48
Language: English
★ "Brunelle’s engaging voice strikes the right balance between narration and exposition. . ."The Horn Book, Starred Review

★ "Brunelle’s prose is both lucid and poetic, while Caldecott-winning illustrator Chin depicts all of these changes in precise but lyrical ways. . . Grand and engrossing. "—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
★ "Brunelle's work, accompanied by the astonishingly realistic watercolor and gouache artwork of Caldecott Medalist Jason Chin (Watercress), is an exquisite ode to the largest documented animal on Earth."Shelf Awareness, Starred Review

★ "[An] amazing picture book. . . The content seamlessly integrates technical vocabulary, marine biology, and chemistry; Chin's meticulous watercolor illustrations carefully align and support the text, and rich back matter will appeal to researchers."—Booklist, Starred Review
★ "...the work meticulously and sensitively portrays the countless sea creatures sustained by a single carcass over more than a century. It’s a thoughtful breakdown of death supporting life and a brilliant exposition of the way that populations grow and are sustained."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

★ "Honest, informed, and enthusiastic, this does exactly what the best science books do—leave kids curious about what else is out there is to discover."The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Starred Review
"There’s poetry to Brunelle’s conveyance of facts. . . [A] moving exploration of death and life deep below the surface of the water and the interconnection of multiple layers of existence."The Boston Globe