Friday, 21 February 2014


Hello dear fellows, chums and pals,

Look! A knitted whale!

First things first, before we get ahead of ourselves... "What", you may ask, "is OATS?" OATS dear reader, is an adventure into a children's picture book on a Friday, a story straight  Off A Tiny Shelf. Tiny, firstly because these beautiful books are made for tiny tots, and secondly because the bookshelf I currently own cannot hold the amount of children's books I have so far collected. I wish to fill your Friday with a happy handful of OATS, which some would say is as nutritious as the things you stare at in your breakfast bowl at 7am.

So this is the first OATS post in our ramble through the world of a children's bookshelf. 

Don't worry, the whale hasn't been forgotten! In fact he plays a leading role in this Friday's OATS post. Yes, this little chap is from the brilliant children's picture book called 'The Storm Whale' by Benji Davies, published by Simon and Schuster. He is so cute, he makes me feel all woolly and want to collect a basket full of blue wool to play with him in...or maybe that's just's Friday. The only sad thing is that the whales have sold out, maybe I can hunt one down.    

This particular adventure is about the friendship between a little boy, Noi, and a whale. Noi, the owner of an amazing balaclava, lives with his father, a fisherman, who wears a groovy yellow hat. With several cats to look after you would think that Noi has his hands full but alas he is still lonely. Then one day, much to his delight, a friendly whale, the chappy below, turns up on his doorstep, or beach to be more precise. 

The ending of the book- Noi and his father sailing out to sea together and waving goodbye to a friend- reminds me a tad of 'Lost and Found' by Oliver Jeffers. Coincidentally I watched the L & F animation on my way to work this week (if serious business men on the tube are allowed to play Angry Birds, I am allowed to watch children's films). 

My favourite thing about this story is the gentle contrast between the bold brushstrokes of stormy blues and bright sandy yellows which take your hand and allow you to step inside Noi's world, smelling the salty air and hearing the sound of the lapping waves...but most importantly the feeling of joy when you find a friend. 
The Storm Whale:
The Storm Whale:

Lost and Found:
The Storm Whale:

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