Dario and the Whale Review and Interview with Cheryl Lawton Malone
Dario and the Whale by Cheryl Lawton Malone is a brand new children’s book that takes place on Cape Cod. It is the story of a migrant boy Dario and a right whale who become friends. Dario comes to the Cape not knowing anyone and he does not speak English; the feeling of not belonging is something most can relate to. The story reads like a song making the repetitive simple text soothing. The use Portuguese words in the story is a nice touch. The beautiful illustrations are calming, deep and rich which enhances the story being told. As a fellow Cape Cod lover this book makes me wish for warmer days and to drive to the National Seashore with the kids to look for whales!
Interview with Cheryl author of Dario and the Whale
Before Cheryl started her writing career she was a lawyer for 20 years. Then about 10 years ago she left the legal world and enrolled in a MFA at Lesley University. After finishing her program at Lesley she had the pleasure of spending a month at the Norman Mailer Writers Colony in Provincetown, MA. It was during her time in Provincetown the inspiration for Dario and the Whale occurred.
The inspiration for Dario and the Whale happened one early morning in April when Cheryl and her dog were out for a walk on Race Point Beach. A Right whale appeared 15 feet from the shore head out of the water Cheryl stared at the whale month wide open and her dog barked. The barking caused the whale to lift itself further out of the water it’s big eyes connecting with Cheryl stare frozen in that moment. It was that connection with a whale that the story of Dario and the Whale originated from.
Cheryl knew that she wanted her book to end with that connection of a child with a whale and from there she worked backward to create a story. She wanted the story to read in verse and have the parallels of the seasonal whale migrating and thus an immigrant boy. A Brazilian boy made sense as there are lots of Brazilian immigrants in the cape today but it also ties in with the Portuguese fishermen. The name Dario came from a little boy Cheryl had the opportunity to meet while she was volunteering as a tutor in Boston.
In addition to two picture books Cheryl is working on getting published and a middle grade novel in verse about a girl and a wolf she is writing she also teaches writing seminars. For more about Cheryl and Dario and the Whale you can visit her website and her book can be ordered online at most large book retailers as well as purchased locally at Eight Cousins Books, Brewster Bookstore or a local Barnes and Nobles . Hopeful Cheryl will be doing some events on the Cape this summer. Until then definitely pick up a copy of Dario and the Whale.
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