Tag Archives: Jo Weaver

Little Whale

There’s something about mothers and their young, isn’t there?

I liked Jo Weaver’s Little One, and now she’s produced Little Whale, which is about a new whale travelling home to the north with his mother. It’s a long swim, and there are many dangers en route. But you’re safe when your mum’s with you. That’s the message.

This is another beautiful picture book, with dreamlike, almost monochrome illustrations. Perhaps whales aren’t quite as cute as bears (you can’t go wrong with a bear), but Jo does a good job of making these enormous creatures look – almost – sweet.

Jo Weaver, Little Whale

What’s more, you learn something new. I didn’t really know about grey whales and how they journey for 12,000 miles to get home, after giving birth in warmer waters. Hopefully I will remember this.


A Story Like the Wind

The tears threatened to come by the third page. Gill Lewis’s A Story Like the Wind is that kind of book.

Gill Lewis and Jo Weaver, A Story Like the Wind

It is unlike Gill’s other books, but just as good, or better. This is a shorter story, illustrated by Jo Weaver, set in a small boat filled with refugees. Because there are only eight people – and a dog – in the boat, we feel as if we get to meet each of them properly, even if not many words are used.

The main character is the boy called Rami, who has nothing left but his violin. With the help of the instrument he tells the others a story. It’s a story from the past, about a wild horse, and it makes everyone in that tiny boat see their own story. And they learn what they have in common.

This is so beautiful. And at the same time, there should never have to be a need for books and stories like this one. Refugees shouldn’t ever have to risk everything to travel somewhere else, having paid a fortune without even being sure they will arrive safely or be allowed to stay.

Little One

This is a beautiful book. At first glance it’d be easy to feel that Jo Weaver’s Little One, which features mother bear and baby bear on the cover, is ‘just one of those mother and baby bear books.’ It’s a book that makes you happy to be a mother – if you are – because you have a little bear (you know what I mean!) you love. And if you are a baby bear it feels so nice and safe to have mother bear close by.

Jo Weaver, Little One

Drawn in tones of white and grey, with a hint of almost black, it’d be easy to feel it’s not colourful enough for a children’s picture book. But you’d be wrong. There is something so comforting about these quiet pictures of a mother and her child.

We witness them waking from hibernation and going out into the world, where mother bear teaches her young one what to do, playing with him/her. The landscape is beautiful, even with no hint of blue or green, or any colourful flowers. It feels perfect as it is.

And when the season is over, mother bear takes her child back to where they last slept, and they curl up close, for another winter.

It makes you want to hibernate.