You may have seen one of the YouTube videos, like this one, about humans saving a whale that has been caught in a fishing net and is in danger of not being able to breathe. This picture book was inspired in part by such a video and the whale's joyful gratitude dance after being freed.
A boy and his fisherman father see a whale that appears to be dead. Getting closer, they discover the huge mammal is tangled in their one and only fishing net. The father is upset about losing the net, but the boy is worried about the whale. He remembers once being tangled in a net himself and nearly drowning. Although his father tells him to forget the whale, the boy decides he has to try to help, even though it is dangerous.
With his fishing knife, he cuts away the tough plastic netting. He talks to the whale and looks in its eye.
When the net finally drifts loose, the whale swims away. But then something wonderful happens. The whale bursts out of the water, spins around, and dives again, and then repeats the leap. "Are you dancing to thank me, Whale?" asks the boy. "Or just for the joy of being free?"
This touching story will encourage children to think about what they can do to help animals. It conveys the beauty of the human-animal bond.