Meet Granny's Family


Granny, a 100-year-old killer whale, as the head of the family, calls all of the members of her clan together to welcome Suttles, a newborn whale. Readers join the family's journey as they search for food, protect themselves against motorboats, and even entertain the humans that come on boats to see them. The book is based on a real whale pod and has lots of information about habitat and orca behaviors. 

Parent Perspective:
The book surprised me. I thought that the author had given "fictitious" names to create the story, but when I read the "Dive Deeper" section in the back, I learned that Granny and her family are real whales. There is a lot of information packed into a book that reads more like a story than many nonfiction picture books. It doesn't rhyme, but it has a nice, smooth cadence to it.  I would recommend the book for children second grade and up. It has quite a bit of text, and although younger audiences could understand the information, I don't think they have the attention span to sit through it.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Lovely illustrations offer the backdrop to this story of a real orca family in the Pacific Northwest. Although it is not a rhyming tale, readers will enjoy a sense of rhythm and learn A LOT about whales.

Content Awareness Factors:

None for us. The story is for young audiences, but not preschool. There is too much text and not enough "action" for most 3-5 year-olds. 

Type of Book:
This nonfiction picture book introduces readers to a real orca pod that lives in the Pacific Northwest.
Educational Themes:

Although some of the characters have names suggesting this is a fictional story, the story is built on information about a real whale family. The book is packed with lots of information not just about killer whales (aka orcas) but also the marine ecosystem. Turn to the back to learn more about the individual whales and whale habits and habitat. There is also a shortlist of websites and a link for teachers to get downloadable lesson plans.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
9 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
5 to 9
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. The story is interesting and educational. Unless you have a child crazy about whales, you'll read this once or twice and be ready to return it to the library.

Title Granny's Clan: A Tale of Wild Orcas
Author Dr. Sally Hodson
Publisher Dawn Publications © 2012
Illustrators Ann Jones
ISBN 9781584691723
Material Paperback
Cost $8.95
Genres Animal (Nonfiction), Ecology | Environment
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