Cover image for What is a whale?
What is a whale?
Kalman, Bobbie.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Crabtree Pub. Co., 2000.
Physical Description:
32 pages ; color illustrations ; 25 cm.
Introduces the physiology, habitats, feeding, and behavior of different types of whales and discusses whale watching.
General Note:
Includes index.
Reading Level:
NC 920 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.4 0.5 36321.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL737.C4 K255 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
QL737.C4 K255 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
QL737.C4 K255 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Whales are the only mammals that spend their entire life in the water. From playful dolphins to enormous blue whales, the behavior, habitats, and physiology of these amazing marine mammals are explored in What is a Whale? Spectacular full-color photos help show:* flukes, flippers, and fins* the whale family tree* baleen and toothed whales* how whales communicate through echolocation* watery homes and what they eat* baby whales* whale-watching and why whales are in danger

Author Notes

Bobbie Kalman was born in Hungary in 1947. She escaped with her family to Austria during the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. The family spent several weeks there as refugees before immigrating to North America. Her book, Refugee Child, is based on this account. She has degrees in English, psychology and education, and has taught at both the elementary and secondary level. She has also worked as an educational assistant for several publishing companies. She is the author and publisher of over 800 books for children. Her books are sought after because she writes within specific curriculum needs, making the titles very popular in schools and public libraries. Her works include The Early Settler Life series, The Historic Communities series, The Native Nations of North America series, The Lands, Peoples, and Cultures series, and The Science of Living Things series.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-This rather simplistic introduction to cetaceans is full of color photos and illustrations, with some terms in bold print that are either defined in the text or in the brief glossary. The text in the short chapters is broken into "titled" paragraphs, leading readers quickly to desired facts. General information on whales as well as on a variety of species is included. Physiology, general biology, and habitats are briefly explored. Sections on "Whale watching" and "Whales in danger" are also here, along with three out-of-step pages in which Kalman reports on her own experiences whale watching in Hawaii. The author includes her own "imaginings" as to the thoughts that the whales were entertaining at the time. While interesting, they strike a somewhat discordant note in an otherwise factual work. A small carp: at one point readers are told that "River dolphins are the only cetaceans that live in freshwater habitats-" but belugas regularly enter rivers, and a resident population in the St. Lawrence has been severely affected by pollutants in that waterway. One of a burgeoning series, this title is adequate, if workaday.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

What is a whale?p. 4
The whale family treep. 6
Flukes, fins, and blowholesp. 8
Baleen whalesp. 10
Right whalesp. 12
Rorqualsp. 15
Toothed whalesp. 16
Dolphins and porpoisesp. 18
Baby whalesp. 20
How whales communicatep. 22
Why do whales do that?p. 24
Whale watchingp. 26
Whales, in dangerp. 30
Words to knowp. 31
Indexp. 32