Waneta Walrus and her Blue Tutu by Jean Ingellis, e-book, 27 pages, published by Jean and Vic Publishing in 2015.
Waneta is a Walrus with only one tusk. She is very self conscious about this, and the other walruses tease her. When a small walrus pup finds himself in trouble with a shark in the water, Waneta doesn’t hesitate to go to his aid. Can she beat the shark and save the pup?
The text was bold and clear, and the story was easy to follow. Overall I liked the book. The story itself was told through rhyming language, which is great to read aloud. Waneta was very brave to take on a shark. I’ve never really thought of walruses as being graceful creatures, so the idea of them moving like a ballerina was a little funny too.
Each page had a simple and bold illustration, which reminded me of making drawings with the paint program on my computer when I was a child. Made me a bit nostalgic actually. These simple illustrations are good for young children. I liked the picture of the walruses sleeping on the beach best.
While the story states that teasing others is wrong, this still had a ring of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to it. The other walruses only liked Waneta after she did something that helped them. It’s good that they stopped bullying her, but it shouldn’t take an act of bravery for the others to be nice to her. I don’t want my kids to learn that they have to do something extraordinary or prove themselves to have others treat them nicely.
We also learn that Waneta has two goals that she is trying to achieve, and it’s great to have goals in life. However, one of her goals is to have two tusks. I didn’t like this goal as it suggested that Waneta wasn’t fine just the way she was. This idea of poor body image was compounded by her embarrassment of the missing tusk, where she covered the gap with her flipper to prevent others seeing it. Also, having a missing tusk is something that Waneta can’t change, so she was always going to fail in her goal. It would have been better to make the goal something that was actually achievable, even if in the end she didn’t manage to do it.
Waneta Walrus and her Blue Tutu is most suitable for lower primary school children. Older reluctant readers may also find this a good read. There are more books coming in this series soon.
*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.