The Whale (HB)
A wordless, epic sea adventure.
When two young intrepid explorers set out to find the legendary Great Spotted Whale, they get much more than they bargained for. In this sublime wordless picture book by Ethan and Vita Murrow, the detailed-filled pages play out this epic story with eerily dramatic graphite illustrations. Fifty years after the alleged first sighting, the pair equip themselves for a truly magical sea adventure. Armed with all sorts of special equipment and cameras, the intrepid duo won't be missing their chance to capture the incontrovertible proof, if it is actually out there. The nature of the profound black and white spreads with varying hues of grey, further add to the haunting beauty and inconceivable vastness of the ocean. The blackness of the the deep, dark sea against the pale grey tones of the tiny boat merely emphasises the vulnerability of the young explorers and adds a palpable underlying tension to their search. When their ultimate moment arrives and the couple catch sight of the mythical whale, they don't miss their opportunity to snap pictures and record each spellbinding second. The newspaper articles scattered throughout the book add a layer of additional detail which makes the unexpected ending even more magical. Out in September, published by Big Picture Press, set your own narrative to this dramatic adventure and get lost in the detail of each unfurling spread. -- Sarah Yewman Picture Books Blogger Ethan and Vita Murrow's "The Whale" truly doesn't look like any other children's book out there at the moment, save the possible exception of some of Shaun Tan's work. The amazing story, told largely wordlessly (aside from the aforementioned newspapers) is beautifully illustrated by Ethan Murrow, an amazing artist who chooses to work with pencils to produce the most stunning monochrome illustrations, packed with character and detail and looking like they're primed and ready to leap right off the page... [...] It draws you in, it truly draws you in and begs you to tell the tale and interpret it in your own way.[...] It's quite a gutsy thing to do, putting out a children's book that looks like this AND relies on wordless storytelling, but this is an absolute triumph that truly should not be missed. Charlotte's favourite bit: Girl and Boy working together furiously to combine their two shattered boats into one awesome whale-detecting vessel. Daddy's favourite bit: Stunning artwork, a glorious and joyful story and a really unique feel truly mark this out as something very special. Do not pass this one by, it's utterly amazing! -- Phil May Read it Daddy!
Ethan Murrow received his B.A. from Carleton College and his M.F.A from the University of North Carolina. Based in Boston, he shows his drawing, film and video work internationally, and has exhibited in Paris, New York, Seattle and Los Angeles. Collaborating with wife Vita and Harvest Films the short, Dust, was an official selection of the 2008 New York Film Festival. Ethan is currently a faculty member at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Vita Murrow has an MS Ed in General Education and Teaching Literacy from the Bank Street College of Education, and holds a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. She is currently Director of the Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy at the Jewish Community Relations Council. She has a deep passion for children's media and literature, and has worked as an Educational Consultant, and in children's media and television in the films department at the Sesame Workshop. She is also a motion media artist and filmmaker.