Welcome to the website of Blue Whale Press, an imprint of Clear Fork Publishing. We are an independent publisher of children's books sold through retail and wholesale distribution. Retail shoppers can find our books at Amazon.com, Booktopia, and Barnes & Noble, among many other outlets, while those in the trade can obtain our books from Ingram Content Group.
“The fine message about holiday spirit makes for a perfect read for parents seeking stories that encourage kids to feel empowered to begin changes that cross age and economic barriers. The Weed That Woke Christmas is a lovely, positive, much-needed story for modern times.” —D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
The Weed that Woke Christmas: The Mostly True Tale of the Toledo Christmas Tree is the story of a small gesture that turned into a phenomenon that was seen around the world. Partly truth and partly fiction, it is based on the inspiring true story of how a weed on a Toledo street corner helped spread the giving spirit far beyond its traffic island home. All Weed wants is to be seen, but people are in too much of a hurry to notice each other, let alone Weed. Weed watches, wishes, and waits until finally someone does see it. But Weed discovers that there is something far bigger and more important than a little weed being noticed.
Available in hardcover (978-0-9814938-1-7) and soft (978-0-9814938-2-4)
A 40-page picture book for ages 4-8.
Surrounded by the hustle and bustle of musicians in a backstage room, Shoehorn has nothing to do but slide stocking feet into shoes and life is dull. But he knows he is destined for something greater—something that will rival the group’s trio of bullies: Trumpet, Trombone, and Flute. Shoehorn takes their bullying in stride and refuses to let those blowhards dent his pride. He waits patiently for his big break until one day, with a twist of fate, Shoehorn saves the day and shines brighter than the best-in-the-band.
Available in hardcover (978-1-950169-39-9) and soft (978-1-950169-40-5)
A 40-page picture book for ages 4-8.
“A moving, affectionate, and joyful tale, all the more so for being true.” —Kirkus Reviews
“An Old Man and His Penguin holds a number of important messages about human/animal relationships, love, oil slicks and their impact on sea life, and loneliness. . . . its underlying focus on letting go and reaping rewards from non-possessiveness offers an outstanding lesson about love for the very young.” —D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
Off the coast of Brazil, João rescues a lifeless, oil-covered penguin (Dindim) and nurses him back to health. Dindim adopts João as an honorary penguin, and the steadfast friends do everything together. They swim together, fish together, and stroll the beach together. But there are real penguins somewhere across the sea. So one day, Dindim leaves João. The villagers tell João the penguin will never come back. João cannot say if he will or will not. Are the villagers right? Will Dindim ever patter into his old friend’s loving arms again?
“Adults looking for an inviting animal story with an important message will welcome this appealingly different seaside tale.” —D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
“The underlying lesson about compassion and good stewardship is subtle but effective; an author’s note explains the real-life circumstances. Reardon, who also illustrated the penguin-themed Noodles’ & Albie’s Birthday Surprise (2016), deftly captures the story’s charm and expressiveness.” —Kirkus Reviews
Watch the book trailer here.
Available in hardcover (978-1-7328935-6-6) and soft (978-1-7328935-7-3)
A 40-page picture book for ages 4-8.
“A heartfelt, somber story skillfully infused with magic and adventure.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Readers who choose the book anticipating a dose of magical encounters will not be disappointed, while those who like interpersonal relationships, intrigue, and growth as subplots in their stories will find Misadventures of a Magician's Son holds an action-packed touch of all three to keep readers guessing about Alex's future and incredible adventure, right up to the end.” —D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
Twelve-year-old Alex was taught illusion by the best. Misadventures of a Magician’s Son tells the story of Alexander Finn’s personal journey dealing with the death of his father, a celebrated magician, and the extraordinary gift he left behind. Uprooted from his childhood home for the seemingly hokey town of Orchard, Maine, Alex refuses to unpack and wants nothing to do with his new surroundings. But when he discovers an unusual deck of animated cards tucked in the back of his father’s old desk, things begin to unravel and Alex’s true adventure begins.
Available in hardcover (978-1-7328935-4-2) and soft (978-1-7328935-3-5)
A middle grade book for ages 8-12.
Masterfully written and illustrated by Laurie Smollett Kutscera.
“Parents who choose 'Porcupette and Moppet' for its read-aloud pleasure will find this a thoroughly engaging, refreshingly original story, while youngsters with rudimentary reading skills receive a fine lesson in differences, predators and prey, and the value of information.” —D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
“A clever lesson about situational awareness and the value of reading a book before acting.” —Kirkus Reviews
Porcupette loves to spend days alone in the quiet forest reading. But when Moppet, a bumbling predator, comes along with his silly antics and non-stop rambling, Porcupette’s sanctuary is turned topsy-turvy. When Moppet finally makes his move, they both get a big surprise that suggests Moppet should read more, and Porcupette should listen more carefully. Alicia Young’s delightful art brings even more life and humor to Nadine Poper’s fun and educational story about a porcupine, a fisher, and their natural relationship in the wild.
“Though the tension of predator versus prey is present throughout this ode to reading, Moppet is so charming in his dialogue and in Young’s (Mason the Bull and the Magical Christmas Tree, 2018, etc.) pitch-perfect, anthropomorphic cartoon illustrations that readers won’t feel too frightened for Porcupette.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Highly recommended both for its leisure value and its pointed insights about different personalities and creatures, Porcupette and Moppet is a lovely picture book that promises lasting attraction and interest to parents and library collections alike.” —D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
Available in hardcover (978-0-9814938-3-1) and soft (978-0-9814938-4-8)
A 32-page picture book for ages 4-8.
“The ingenious aquatic tale also encourages readers to realize they can find friendship even if they don’t see eye to eye with their cohorts.” —Kirkus Reviews
Randall, the pistol shrimp, is a master at excavation. Randall, the goby fish, is his skittish, yet happy-go-lucky watchman. The problem is that both have quirks that drive each other bananas until one day their relationship is driven to the breaking point. This very funny informational-fiction story about one of the sea’s naturally-existent odd couples illustrates how certain species depend upon their symbiotic relationship for survival. It also shows children how two very different beings can embrace each other’s peculiarities and become best of friends.
Foreword written by Dr. John E. Randall, senior ichthyologist emeritus, Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii.
“Based on a real-life symbiotic relationship, this silly tale makes the science approachable through the goby’s giggle-worthy antics. Notes from ichthyologist Dr. John Randall describe the phenomenon for adults, and Gortman’s closing illustrations supply diagrams of the charismatic creatures. The picture book’s cartoonish interior images deftly mix human and animal characteristics . . . Poper’s simple English text seamlessly introduces a few straightforward Spanish-language phrases due to the coastal Mexico setting. The ingenious aquatic tale also encourages readers to realize they can find friendship even if they don’t see eye to eye with their cohorts.” —Kirkus Reviews
Available in hardcover (978-0-9814938-7-9) and soft (978-0-9814938-8-6)
A 32-page picture book for ages 4-8.
“A fun, unexpected conclusion teaches kids not only about shore life, but about what makes a welcoming home for a stray. Kids who love beaches and parents who love thought-provoking messages will find “Who Will? Will You?” engrossing and fun.” —D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
Lottie makes an unusual discovery while beachcombing one day. She’s found a pup, but it’s not your ordinary pup. Lottie quickly decides that she needs help. “Who will care for this little lost pup?” she asks along the beach. “Will you care for this little lost pup?” But no one wants her pup. Just when she is ready to give up, Lottie finds the perfect person to take care of her very special find. Children are kept guessing throughout this beautifully illustrated story what kind of creature Lottie has found while they learn about nature’s different kinds of pups along the way.
“A beautifully illustrated tale that’s sure to appeal to animal lovers and budding environmentalists. . . . Reardon’s realistic pastel-and-ink illustrations, populated with humans with a variety of skin tones, do an excellent job of hiding the identity of the pup and showing the adults’ shocked expressions.” —Kirkus Reviews
Available in hardcover (978-1-7328935-1-1) and soft (978-1-7328935-2-8)
A 32-page picture book for ages 4-8.Return to Top
“As Rabbit gets to know one real Bear, he discovers the roots of prejudice and changes his mind about generalizations. . . These excellent revelations encourage kids to face their fears and think about not just the reality of danger, but different personalities and choices involved in interacting with the world with notions that don’t stem from personal experience. Tara J. Hannon’s whimsical, fun, colorful drawings enhance a fine picture book story highly recommended for either independent pursuit by ages 4-7, or read-aloud pleasure.” —D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
“This adventure offers an effective brain exercise in graphic storytelling for young readers. . .” —Kirkus Reviews
Rabbit is afraid of many things, but most of all he’s afraid of gigantic, monstery, BEARS! The very nervous Rabbit is soon confronted by his worst fear who appears to be far more interested in making new friends than causing Rabbit any real harm. Despite his apprehension, Rabbit agrees to join his jovial new acquaintance for dinner, but wait a minute . . . is Bear planning to “have” Rabbit for dinner? In this tender story about a very nervous rabbit and a lovable bear, Rabbit discovers that things aren’t always as scary as they seem, and sometimes you may just have more in common with others than you think.
Available in hardcover (978-0-9814938-9-3) and soft (978-1-7328935-0-4)
A 32-page picture book for ages 4-7.
As an award winner as soon as it left the pen, Sienna, the Cowgirl Fairy is the first in this chapter book series. Sienna is not your normal cowgirl, for she’s half human and half fairy. But Sienna wants nothing to do with fairies. When her ma sends her to fairy camp instead of cowgirl camp, she ain’t none too happy. Not only must she deal with cliquish fairies who reject her spunky spirit and outspoken ways, she must also noodle out how to help Mother Nature end the Texas drought. Can Sienna balance cowgirling with some tried ’n’ true fairy skills to both fit in and make it rain?
A Reader Views Reviewers Choice Award and a fun book for anyone who has interest in cowgirls, fairies, magic, horses, weather, or Texas.
Available in hardcover (978-0-9814938-5-5) and soft (978-0-9814938-6-2)
168 B&W pages / Ages 7-10
You can watch the book trailer here.Return to Top
Winner of the Mom’s Choice Award for children’s picture books, and an IPPY silver medalist, Butterfly Kisses for Grandma and Grandpa tells the story of a bond between a grandchild and her grandparents. Emily loves visiting her grandparents where she is showered with affection and enjoys the freedom to eat sweets, stay up late, and help Grandma in the garden. When Emily’s visit with her grandparents ends, she’s saddened by thoughts of missing them. To comfort her, Grandma gives Emily a book that teaches her to use her imagination, memory, and natural surroundings to help her feel close when they are apart. In a surprising role reversal, Emily comforts Grandma by sharing her own secrets for staying close
A wonderful gift for long-distance grandparents, long-distance grandchild, Grandparent's Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas, Grandma, grandchild, military children, also a good book to help children deal with death, or being apart from long-distance loved ones.
Available in hardcover (978-0-9814938-0-0)
Written by Alayne Kay Christian, and illustrated by Joni Stringfield.Return to Top
Sienna, the Cowgirl Fairy: Cowboy Trouble written by Alayne Kay Christian and illustrated by Blake Marsee
Aunt Rose is getting married, and guess who she’s asked to be her flower girl. Sienna’s sadder than a coyote without a howl. “I’d look mighty silly in a dress. I’d trip over my own feet in them fancy shoes. And I ain’t much good at manners neither.” Ma signs Sienna up for cowgirl charm school where Sienna discovers she’s even worse at being elegant than she thought she’d be. To make matters worse, Billy Bob and his band of bullies see Sienna in her charm school clothes and raise a ruckus. Maybe Sienna can teach those cowboys a thing or two about manners and poise. But can she learn enough at charm school to walk down the aisle without embarrassing herself and Aunt Rose?
A Train, a Moose, and a Mess by Joan Sloane, and illustrated by Mary Beth Benton
ALL ABOARD! A ringmaster is anxious to find his next great act. But when his circus train is forced to make an emergency stop for a moose asleep on the tracks, he must use his whistle to wake it. The moose doesn’t flinch, but the travel-weary animals on board mistake the familiar sound for their cue to leave. A rollicking chain of events follow in their path and an unexpected star is born.
Until Water Makes Mud, written by Janie Reinart, and illustrated by Morgan Taylor
When war forces two sisters to flee their home in South Sudan with nothing but the clothes they are wearing, Big Sister strives to help Little Sister smile again at the refugee settlement. But as quickly as Little Sister’s smile appears, it disappears: that is until water makes mud. In the end, Big Sister’s artistry and kindness brings hope to their situation. This title is a tribute to the resourcefulness of children who have no toys, but continue to play and is dedicated to the 200,000 refugee children living at the Bidibidi settlement in Uganda.
Your Nursery is an Everywhere by Carol Bullman and illustrated by Maureen McAfee
Having a baby opens up the world in so many ways, but it also closes it off, in the sweetest of ways. “It seems, inside this little room, the walls are fading clear, and all the beauty in the world, is shining on us here.” In this beautifully written and illustrated book, a mother and baby savor the coziness of “now” in the nursery while the mother has expansive dreams for her baby’s future. The wall fades away, and the magical dreams come alive before readers’ eyes!