Noi is a lonely little boy who lives with his father in a house by the sea. Every day, his father goes out on his boat to fish for a living, and Noi is left alone to talk to his six cats and explore the shoreline. After a strong storm, a baby whale is beached on the sand and can't move. Noi takes him home and hides him in the bathtub. He knows it would be better to return him to the ocean, but Noi keeps him anyway because he is desperate to have someone to listen to him and talk with him. When his father discovers the whale, a touching thing happens. He doesn't get mad. He doesn't yell. He hugs Noi and understands immediately that his son needs more from him. Together, they return the whale to its home.
As a parent, I really enjoyed the father's understanding in this book. There are so many times that I feel overworked and stressed out to the point that I can't see past my own nose, and it gets way to easy for my initial reaction to something my child has done to be one of frustration. How frustrating! I worked all day. I'm exhausted! I come home and now have to clean whale juice out of the bathtub! Aargh! The next time I'm faced with whale juice, I am going to do my best to take a deep breath and remember Noi's dad and his first instinct not to yell but to love.