Cover image for Whale in a fishbowl / Troy Howell & Richard Jones.
Whale in a fishbowl / Troy Howell & Richard Jones.

First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Schwartz & Wade Books, [2018]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Wednesday, a whale living in captivity, is inspired by a little girl named Piper to try to reach the sea.
Added Author:


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
HOW Book Easy Collection
HOW Book Easy Collection

On Order



Wednesday is a whale who lives in a fishbowl smack dab in the middle of a city--it's the only home she's ever known. Cars whizz around her and people hurry past; even the sun and moon circle above. But if she leaps high enough out of her bowl, Wednesday can see it- a calm bit of blue off in the distance. When a girl in a paisley dress tells Wednesday "You belong in the sea," the whale starts to wonder, what is the sea? Readers will cheer--and get all choked up-- when, one day, Wednesday leaps higher than ever before and sets in motion a breathtaking chain of events that will carry her to her rightful home. Touching, and ultimately uplifting, here is a story about a lonely creature longing to be free--and longing to find someone just like her.

Author Notes

Troy Howell has been writing and illustrating books for more than 25 years. His many awards and distinctions include starred reviews in Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal; an American Bookseller Pick of the Lists; an Educational Press Association of America Distinguished Achievement Award; and Merit Awards from the Los Angeles Society of Illustrators and the New York Society of Illustrators. Visit him on the Web at or follow him on Twitter at @TroyHow11.

Richard Jones has over 15 years experience in creative arts, and has recently begun illustrating children's books. He is also the illustrator of Town Mouse, Country Mouse by Libby Walden, a reimagining of Aesop's fable. Visit him on the web at or follow him on Twitter- @apaintedmouse

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Wednesday the Whale lives in an enormous glass bowl in the middle of a busy urban interchange. If she leaps upward, she can see an expanse of blue beyond the city. What is it? The sight fills her with longing. Humans who watch her desperate leaps misunderstand: "People said she was doing tricks." Only one, a child named Piper, perceives what Wednesday needs. "You belong in the sea," she tells Wednesday. Wednesday wonders, "What was the sea?" Howell (Lizbeth Lou Got a Rock in Her Shoe) portrays the captive whale as puzzled rather than resentful, and Jones (Winter Dance) further softens the emotional impact of Wednesday's dilemma by painting the bowl and the surrounding buildings in quiet grays and blues. After a tremendous final leap, illustrated in a dramatic gatefold spread, Wednesday's tank tips over and the water carries her to the ocean. Images of the cramped glass bowl give way to reaches of vast and endless blue. Wednesday, who filled her bowl, all but disappears into the ocean, and, for the first time, she sings. By reaching for emotional rather than documentary truth, this team explores the injustice of captivity with a gentle touch. Ages 4-8. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.