‘Alfred and the Blue Whale,’ by Mina Lystad, illustrated by Åshlid Irgens.

Bravery and self-confidence are not things which come naturally to all children and are certainly emotions which can fluctuate over time. But both, I believe, are key to good mental health, over-coming barriers and being resilient. This lovely title from Wacky Bee’s ’Buzzy Reads’ series is a great introduction to these ideas for young children and readers developing independence (see also Mustafa’s Jumper.)

Alfred is scared of a lot of things, but most of all he’s scared of talking in front of his class. When his teacher sets the class the challenge to research an animal then talk to the class about it at the end of the week, Alfred’s heart sinks. He is never going to be able to do it.

As the week goes on, and as Alfred learns more about the magnificent blue whale, he becomes more and more enchanted. He knows A LOT about blue whales. But will he be able to share his knowledge with the class?


I’m sure that there are a lot of children (and adults) who struggle to find the confidence to speak in front of an audience. This book should reassure them that it will almost certainly be easier than they think, and that the hardest part can be just starting. The story also shows readers how breaking a task up into small steps can make it seem more manageable.

For fact fans, there’s a great double-page spread at the back giving lots of information about blue whales to enjoy.

Library Girl.

*Thank you to Wacky Bee Books for sending me this title to review*







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