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Whale Storybook - When Opo Left

'When Opo Left' storybook about the Pilot Whales that entered the River Blackwater in November 2014

After a long wait the gale season finally hits and the two pilot whale children Roey and Rosa ride the huge surf in the rough thundering sea along with the rest of the pod heading South. In the middle of all their excitement, the mighty Opo, full of tales and knowledge, takes a turn for the worse. Opo, unable to keep up with the rest of the pod, falls behind and the pilot Lola changes course and heads for Brightlingsea hoping to help Opo to recover his strength in the shallow water and feasting on the Brightlingsea herrings. Beautifully written and illustrated, it is based on a true version of events when a pod of 50 whales entered the River Blackwater in an attempt to save one of their own. A sad but comforting story that will touch your hearts, about the importance of family ties and solidarity in times of illness and bereavement. Living through excitement, joy, and sadness with Roey and Rosa, young readers will also learn many facts about whales as well as the Essex Coast and the River Blackwater around Mersea Island. Esther Kinsky has written a story close to her heart inspired after losing her husband in a struggle with cancer. The story is dedicated to the children left behind to help with understanding and coping with the loss of a much loved family member.



Book Reviews:

Colin Westgate This is a delightful book, beautifully written and illustrated. The story is lovely and believable. Great book for kids and, yes, grown ups too.

Brenda Bulmer What a wonderful story , very moving . A difficult subject of losing someone close to you , who you admire and love and yet told and illustrated in a soft ,gentle way that makes sense to a child . Well done Esther and Falk . Hope there are more stories to follow and you will return to Mersea . We have many more fish and creatures with stories to tell, just walk along the beach and you will find them.x
John Page I have followed the story from day one when the Whales arrived in the River Blackwater. Esther Kinsky has turned the whole event into a wonderful adventure and insight into the lives of these beautiful creatures creating a very moving story for both children and adults. It is a book that anyone can thoroughly enjoy, a must read.
Les Wilson A wonderful book. Well written and illustrated. I particularly liked the facts pages to add extra interest in Whales. Hope you do well Ester. Every good wish.
Paul Hewes I really have enjoyed reading this book and the colours were fantastic and it has aslo helped me as we lost our nan and grandad the last couple of years so yeah the book is very helpful keep up the good work, Well done
Mary Page I just wanted to say what a lovely story 'When Opo Left' is.  The illustrations are very good as well as being a lovely story.  Thank you for all the thought you have put into it.  I hope one day I will be reading it to my Great Nieces and nephews and they will enjoy it too.
Stacey Belbin I have followed this story from start to finish, from taking Esther on one of my boat trips in December while telling her all about my experience of seeing pilot whales in the River Blackwater in November 2014, to receiving an email from her asking if she can use this event as the storyline for her book, a further visit from Esther in April to obtain footage of the area to pass to the illustrator, receiving the story text and eventually watching the book unfold.  I never imagined that Esther could do such credit to what was such a magical experience, knowing that I was one of a lucky few to see pilot whales on our doorstep, a once in a lifetime opportunity, probably never to be seen ever again, to only be 6ft away from such incredible creatures of the sea, hearing the sound of them exhaling air through their blowholes and witnessing them round up the herrings for the sick whale, I didn't think Esther would be able to do justice to what was such an emotional and magical experience but she really has.  Reading 'When Opo Left' is like re-living history for me, I feel like I am back amongst the whales all over again.  The illustrations are amazing and the story is so beautiful, I cant stop picking up the book to browse the story and look through the illustrations.  I really cant thank you enough for capturing the magic of my experience in your book Esther to share with others.
Chrissie Westgate A beautiful book, one to keep for all time!
Rosie Bird Lovely book for everyone to read! So good for the children, so well explained to the children of how the whales live their life! Very well illustrated, so nice to see that someone has taken so much trouble to to put it together!