HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Granny’s Clan: A Tale of Wild Orcas
Author: Dr. Sally Hodson
Illustrator: Ann Jones
Publisher: Dawn Publications, 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1-58469-171-6 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-1-58469-172-3 (Paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 4-10
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Hodson, Dr. Sally. Granny’s Clan: A Tale of Wild Orcas (published in 2012 by Dawn Publications, 12402 Bitney Springs Rd., Nevada City, CA 95959). Do you know what an orca is? And do you know what orcas eat? Granny is an orca, also known as a killer whale, which is believed to be around 100 years old. She helps take care of her new great-grandchild, born to its mother Samish, along with its older sister Suttles, cousin Mako, great-uncle Ruffles, and others. A clan of orcas is known as a pod, and as Granny’s pod swims, they pass by all kinds of ocean life, are watched by humans in boats, and engage in all kinds of acrobatic activities. Sometimes several related pods get together for a party known as a superpod. Of course, the pod is in search of food. Orcas eat many different kinds of food, such as fish, stingrays, sharks, seals, and whales, but Granny’s pod hunts only salmon. Will they find any? And orcas are an endangered species. Will they survive?
Granny, who is the matriarch or Eldest Clan Grandmother, Suttles, Mako, and their family are real wild orcas which live in the seas of the Pacific Northwest region of Puget Sound and are very famous due to their appearance in the Free Willy movies. The author, Dr. Sally Hodson, who is the former executive director of the Whale Museum in Friday Harbor, WA, has studied and observed these animals for many years to learn how they experience their lives and their world. And illustrator Ann Jones, a retired schoolteacher, is especially qualified to picture the orcas in her vibrantly-colored pastel drawings because she lives on the shore of Orcas Island off the coast of Washington where she can notice every detail about them and their habitat. In the back of the book are two pages of further information which will help the reader to “Dive Deeper!” and “Explore Everything Orca.” Granny’s Clan will motivate concern for endangered species and encourage youngsters to be responsible environmental stewards.