“Is it time?” asks Little Blue, who can’t wait to start the blue whales’ summer migration to their feeding ground. In this companion to Meet Me at the Moon, Gianna Marino’s tale of a mother elephant and her child, fathers now have their day. It’s Papa who responds to all of Little Blue’s questions, including the most important: How will they know which way to go? Offering reassurance to his little one and migration facts to young readers, Papa answers, “We’ll follow the song of the whales, Little Blue, just like our family has for years and years.”

Papa is never far away in Gianna Marino's newest picture book.

Luminous and textured mixed-media illustrations help create their ocean world and enhance the lyrical text. They also reflect the movement of both the creatures in the water and the water itself. Whether diving, swimming or leaping out of the water, Papa and Little Blue are always in sync, visually reinforcing their bond. The vibrant colors around them vary depending on their location, with cool blues and greens depicting underwater action and warmer yellows shining when Papa and Little Blue head to the surface.

Everything is put to the test, though, when Little Blue goes too deep in the ocean. At first the depth seems magical with pink and purples hues and amazing sea life, but it soon turns too dark and quiet. But when the little whale remembers to listen for his father’s song, he returns to Papa and learns that he’s never far away. Beautiful and sweet but never saccharine, Following Papa’s Song reminds readers of the amazing connection between parents and children.

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