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Children's Nonfiction Environmental Conservation & Protection

Big Blue Forever

The Story of Canada's Largest Blue Whale Skeleton

by (author) Anita Miettunen

Red Deer Press
Initial publish date
Jan 2017
Environmental Conservation & Protection, Marine Life
Recommended Age
10 to 18
Recommended Grade
5 to 12
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2017
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Big Blue Forever is inspired by the true story of how a blue whale skeleton found on a remote beach in PEI was shipped cross country and reassembled for permanent display at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum. This unique Canadian adventure story is complemented with intriguing facts about blue whales and their environment, and the fascinating process that museums go through to uncover, prepare, and reassemble skeletons for display and study.


About the author

Anita Miettunen
Is a writer and illustrator who loves exploring the natural world. She has previously worked for Environment Canada and currently coordinates a program supporting early-career research scientists addressing pressing biodiversity issues across Canada. She also volunteers at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum in Vancouver where over 100,000 visitors have seen Big Blue's skeleton since 2010. Anita has traveled worldwide, often on her bicycle and has lived in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, England, Finland, and Japan. She currently lives in Vancouver, close to the ocean, in a little white house under a giant fir tree.

Anita Miettunen's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"A fascinating story curiously told."
Kirkus Reviews

"The largest animal to ever live is one of the hardest to see. There aren't many Blue Whales left in the world, and they spend their time under water, so most people have never seen one. But thanks to a remarkable team of scientists, who don't mind working in smelly, messy conditions, a 150 ton, fully grown whale has been raised from the grave and put on display for all to see. This book tells the astounding tale of skinning an animal larger than a dinosaur, moving it across the country, then hanging its re-assembled skeleton from the ceiling. An amazing accomplishment."
Bob McDonaldOC, author, journalist and Host of CBC's Quirks & Quarks

"The book is actually two stories. It starts with a view of the windswept Prince Edward Island shoreline. The following spreads show Big Blue's carcass, the area where she was buried, and shots of the crew as they dig her up, move her across the country, and figure out how to prepare her skeleton for display. This section would make a fascinating read aloud for primary and junior students. It's followed by a text-dense section that repeats the basic story, this time with additional facts students can use to research the story of Big Blue, blue whales in general, and the challenges that all whales face in today's world. This section is illustrated by thumbnail photographs with clear captions that make the text accessible to challenged readers. Having a double story like this increases the value of Big Blue Forever for school use, making it a recommended title. Student researchers will appreciate the list of related web sites. Gifted students will be particularly interested in the author's bibliography."
Resource Links

"The science behind the process of rebuilding and transporting the skeleton is undeniably interesting, as are the numerous accompanying photographs."

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