Thursday, June 8, 2023

Happy Book Birthday... The Whale Who Refused to Poo by Daniel Kim and Benjamin Kim

It's happy book birthday time! I might not have my party hat on, but I am 'wooting' and doing a mini-dance in celebration. It's always fun to see new books hit the world...and I'm a strong believer that we should truly celebrate every chance we get (life brings along enough heavier moments, anyway). 

Today's read is a little special in that all proceeds go to the protection of endangered species. It's one of several books written by a group of Korean teens, who want to spread awareness of animals, who are slowly disappearing. The books have done (from what I'm told) very well in Korea and are being translated, one-by-one, for the English speaking market. 

Ready to take a peek?

by Daniel Kim and Benjamin Kim
Common Planet
Picture Book
44 pages
ages 4 to 8

Baby whale feels too shy to poo in front of other sea creatures, but loses his fear when a wise octopus explains that his poop is vital to the ocean ecosystem. A story about how we are all part of a larger ecosystem and essential to each other's survival.



The tale of this baby whale touches the heart in the cutest, sweetest ways, while teaching readers a bit about whales and their environment.

Baby whale needs to poo, and that is always an issue. It's so embarrassing to go to the bathroom right in front of the other fish...and they're always following him around. There's only one place he can do his business in peace: the dark shadows of the deeper, ocean floor. As time goes on, the fish are leaving and Baby whale isn't sure what's going on.

The first illustration, even before the title page, put an instant smile on my face. Such a cute, smiling face! This sweetness carries on through the entire read—after all, this is a baby whale to adore. It's no problem to sympathize with the whale's predicament as readers/listeners identify with similar situations of smaller embarrassments.  Add the slight humor woven in, and it is an entertaining read.

Although sweet and cute, this whale also opens up the doors to some whale facts. Details sprinkle in during the story, which subtly offer information about whales' habitats, food sources, and more. Of course, the entire poo situation forms the center of the tale as its purpose in the balance of ocean life is brought to light. There's also a brief mention of the problems fishers and whalers pose. All of this flows seamlessly into the story, and still is brought over clearly and understandably. 

The illustrations draw in and also help make the facts clear. It is enjoyable to gaze through them, and young listeners will probably enjoy visiting these on their own. The larger font on the text makes it easier to read this one aloud to groups and opens up the door for a little reading fun. It makes it a good edition to classrooms and homeschool settings as well as being simply an entertaining read.

And here he is...

Daniel Kim attends a middle school in the Bay Area. His love of dinosaurs and disappointment at their extinction sparked his interest in endangered animals on the brink of extinction. He believes that creating a world that is good for animals also means a better world for humans. In his free time, Daniel enjoys reading, playing tennis, and listening to music. You can find him blogging on his site,

You can read an interview with Daniel and find out more:

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