Whale-y Great Book Recommendations

Drawing of a whale tale that says Reading is a Whale of a Time

Photo Credit: Whispering Words on Society6



I’ve been a big reader for as long as I can remember. While I love a variety of genres, I’ve slowly been incorporating more non-fiction into my life. There’s something special about reading about a topic that’s close to your heart and it’s satisfying to have what you already know be validated! I won’t ever claim to be a whale expert, but these are some books that have put me one step closer to becoming one:


Encyclopedia of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises by Erich Hoyt


Who doesn’t love pictures?  This is a chunky and informative coffee table style book that breaks down the different types of whales, dolphins, and porpoises in an understandable manner.  While it may seem a little daunting at first, I promise that if I can understand what’s going on with all of those big science-y words, anyone can.  Before I picked this up, I had absolutely NO idea that there are so many different types of dolphins in the world!

Purchase from Coho Books, Campbell River’s independent bookstore, here!



Spying on Whales: The Past, Present, and Future of Earth’s Most Awesome Creatures by Nick Pyenson


This is a fairly recent release that has a focus on Humpback Whales.  Most of the  “whale” books that exist have a focus on Orca as they are the most televised/popular type of cetacean. I understand why they’re so prominent, but I couldn’t help feeling a bit frustrated when trying to read about other marine mammals. It’s safe to say that I was thrilled when I came across this one, especially because of how many Humpback Whales we have in the Campbell River area these days!  This novel is pretty science heavy so I would recommend reading it with Google or a dictionary on standby if you struggle to comprehend certain terms like I did.

Purchase from Coho Books, Campbell River’s independent bookstore, here!



Whales: An Illustrated Celebration by Kelsey Oseid


If you’re just beginning to dive into learning about cetaceans, this is the perfect place to start.  Suited for the 8-12 year old age range, it breaks down facts and the different types of species without being overwhelmingly science-focused.  Despite being targeted for a younger audience, it doesn’t read in a juvenile way!  The illustrations are not only stunning but scientifically accurate and so pleasing to look at!  My absolute favorite part of this book was the “how to help whales” guide at the back! 

Purchase from Coho Books, Campbell River’s independent bookstore, here!



The Killer Whale Who Changed the World by Mark Leiren-Young


If you’re curious about how and why Killer Whales were originally known as vicious creatures, this is a great resource! This book covers how research began and how they became popular in the media.  It also briefly covers the different types of Orca and how they determine just how many are in BC waters.  I wouldn’t recommend this for the faint-hearted as it goes into intense detail of their captures, killings, captivity, and autopsies.  It was extremely hard to read at times. Nonetheless, this is super informative book with a number of great resources for further reading at the back!

Purchase from Campbell River’s independent bookstore here!




Have you read any of these books?  What other types of whale-y informative books would you recommend?



Written by:  Brianna England