The Sea Swallow and the Humpback Whale


It is remarkable to consider the journeys of humpback whales and Arctic terns. Each summer in the Arctic, enjoying the opportunity to raise their young, or feed up ahead of a momentous trek across the planet.

While Arctic terns skit between flocks, they face massive waves, lightning, gales and gusts and near starvation. Meanwhile, humpback whales lead their young through the perils of gigantic ships, invisible fishing nets, plastics and orca attacks. Yet each creature is compelled to follow their instincts and journey ‘across sky and sea’.

Catherine Barr and Gerry Turley describe the risks and routes of The Sea Swallow and the Humpback Whale so fully, respectfully and with such engagement. Bookwagon loves and recommends this entrancing non-fiction picture book.

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The Sea Swallow and the Humpback Whale

Two incredible journeys across the sky and sea

Catherine Barr and Gerry Turley


The Arctic Tern ‘is one of thousands of ‘sea swallows’ that lays eggs on the ground in the Arctic summer. Meanwhile, humpback whales dive beneath the ‘sea’s surface‘ preparing to feed. She will fill up ahead of her journey, alongside the sea swallow. Catherine Barr and Gerry Turley describe these momentous treks of The Sea Swallow and The Humpback Whale in a descriptive non-fiction picture book.
We realise the creatures’ habits, from their feeding, to the way they protect their eggs from marauding polar bears. Thereafter, we fear the safety of the humpback mother and calf from orca attack, fishing nets and colossal ships that cross their paths.
The Arctic tern flies with ‘different flocks‘ through ‘fierce, icy gusts‘, ‘lightning flashes’ and ‘giant rolling waves’.
The writer and illustrator enable readers to realise the vastness, urgency and peril of both these creatures’ awesome journeys. Although their journeys run parallel, their instincts are different though nonetheless as determined.
Bookwagon is proud of its growing animal non-fiction titles, including works such as Made for Each Other. We are awed and entranced by The Sea Swallow and the Humpback Whale.


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