Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Fiction General

A Pod of Orcas

by (author) Sheryl McFarlane

illustrated by Kirsti Anne Wakelin

Fitzhenry and Whiteside
Initial publish date
Jun 2006
General, Marine Life, General
Recommended Age
3 to 5
Recommended Grade
p to k
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2006
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


A beautiful new counting book by an award-winning author!

There is so much to count at the seashore - one lighthouse, two freighters, three eagles - and on and on, until you get to ten. Then a pod of orcas explodes out of the sea - so many, you can't begin to add them up. But wait. At the end of the day, you can count from ten all the way down again, as ten sailboats, nine fishboats, eight beach umbrellas - and on and on - gradually settle for the evening or pack up and drift away.

A gentle and poetic counting book by the award-winning author of Waiting for the Whales and Jessie's Island, Sheryl McFarlane's A Pod of Orcas is just the right bedtime read for eager little counters. Artist Kirsti Wakelin makes her picture book debut with exquisite watercolor paintings that glow with dreamy light and warmth.

Parents and educators will appreciate the simple, yet effective design. Each number appears spelled out and in numerical form. And small pictorial "clues" will lead pre-readers to every counting subject.

About the authors

Sheryl McFarlane was born in the Ottawa Valley and was raised in Arizona, but the west coast snatched her heart more than thirty years ago. She is the mother of three wonderful daughters who often appear in her books in disguised form. She is the author of four board books and eight picture books, including: A Pod of Orcas, This is the Dog, Jessie's Island and Waiting for the Whales.
Sheryl's books have won and been short-listed for several readers' choice awards, the Governor General's Award, the IODE Award, the BC Book Prize for Children's Literature, and the Mr. Christie Award. Sheryl has toured with the Peter Gzowski Golf Tournament for Literacy, Save the Children, and The Canada Council. She has judged creative writing for The Writer's Union of Canada, The Canadian Children's Book Centre, and the BC Creative Writers' Grant Program, been a writer in residence in many schools, been involved in many young author programs, and has led children's writing workshops for beginning and established writers.
A former teacher, Sheryl provides professional development in language arts for school districts, Early Childhood Educators, Primary Educator Associations and the International Reading Association. She frequently acts as a consultant for publishers on both educational and trade projects. Her first young adult novel was published in the fall of 2006.


Sheryl McFarlane's profile page

Kirsti Anne Wakelin was born in Maple Ridge, British Columbia. She studied Graphic Design and Illustration at Capilano College and Painting and Decoration for Motion Picture Set painting at BCIT. Before becoming a freelance designer, illustrator and fine artist, she worked in the Internet industry as an interface designer, print designer and illustrator. Kirsti now lives in Vancouver with a view of the ocean.

Kirsti Anne Wakelin's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"A counting book, a rhyming book, a seek and find book, and a nature book all combined. Don't let this one pass you by. Let it sweep you away."
Curled Up With A Good Kid's Book

"A rhyming counting book is hard to execute well, but A Pod of Orcas has risen to the challenge with expert craft".
Quill & Quire

"This seaside counting book by Victoria's Sheryl McFarlane goes from one to 10 and back down again. The watercolour illustrations by Vancouver's Kirsti Anne Wakelin show eagles, harbour seals, fishboats and unmistakeably West Coast vistas. This is a counting book with a climax: a centre spread of breaching orcas."
Vancouver Sun

"Refreshingly, McFarlane sticks to realism; children can enjoy the counting, the energy of rhyme and rhythm, yet still glimpse elements peculiar to the region - harbour seals, freighters and trawlers, orcas and more. Wakelin's watercolour illustratinos sustain this realism. It's not just that the flora and fauna are portrayed accurately; Wakelin manages to depict the reflected light of a sunny day on the strait, the graduated blues of mountains rising from the sea. A counting book that's also a summer reverie."
Toronto Star

"Children will eagerly immerse themselves in the fresh, zesty depictions of a day at the seaside."

"The sparkle of the water in the muted watercolors gives them a look that's both refreshing and dreamy."
Notes from the Windowsill

"Large, bright and beautiful illustrations take us on a walk by the ocean, where you can count boats, eagles, sea otters, sandcastles and orcas up the beach and then back down again as the day closes with the setting sun."
Burnaby Now

Other titles by

Other titles by