This page last updated 9/16/12

color bar


Words by maggie davis,
Illustrated by Jennifer Barrett O'Connell

color bar
Follow a young boy's imagination as he dreams about the magnificent whales of the sea—and worries about their future. Young readers will be drawn into his quest to help the endangered whales and will delight in his fantastical plan to fill the sea with whales again. This unusual story celebrates the unity of the human and animal worlds.
 a celebration of kinship for Earth's children
ISBN: 0944475353

"This tale of deliverance unfurls in
luscious prose that rolls trippingly off
the tongue. Like a contemporary
'Kubla Khan' for kids . . ."

—Publisher's Weekly

recipient of
Vermont Publishers Association Special Merit Award

Published by Firefly Books, Ltd.

Order this book

From Horn Book:
A young boy, fearful that whales are disappearing from the earth, imagines how they might be saved. His dreamlike solution is conveyed by a rhythmic text and lush illustrations that feature cavorting, majestically powerful whales. The poetic, somewhat surreal quality of the story is appealing.

Copyright © 1993 The Horn Book, Inc.
All rights reserved. This text refers to the hardcover edition of this title.

color bar
introductory material to A Garden of Whales from Eskimo Songs and Stories, selected and translated by Edward Field
(copyright © 1973 Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence)
Magic Words...
In the very earliest time,
when both people and animals lived on earth,
a person could become an animal if he wanted to
and an animal could become a human being.
Sometimes they were people
and sometimes animals
and there was no difference.
All spoke the same language.
That was a time when words were like magic.
The human mind had mysterious powers.
A word spoken by chance
might have strange consequences.
It would suddenly come alive
and what people wanted to happen could happen—
all you had to do was say it.
Nobody can explain this:
That's the way it was.

color bar

A portion of the author's proceeds from this book is given to Earth Island Institute, an organization dedicated to developing innovative projects for the conservation, preservation and restoration of the global environment. (Keep in touch with Earth Island Institute for whale and dolphin updates.)

color bar

"A Garden of Whales poured out of me in the early nineties, in response to the intensifying plight of dolphins and whales at human hands. Although I didn't publish Whales, the book is just as much a celebration of kinship with all life as my books which followed.

The original publisher of Whales was Camden House. The publisher asked me to find an illustrator for Whales and from a series of serendipities arose Jennifer Barrett O'Connell.

Jennifer and I collaborated by phone for this book project, illustrations and ideas springing back and forth between Maine and Bethesda, MD with accelerating gusto. I hope I may speak for both of us when I say it was a triumphant journey.

As did Cara Raymaker, teenage illustrator of Glory! to the Flowers, Jennifer made room in her illustrating process for me to offer a suggestion here and there those times my mind was shimmering with mental pictures. This 'closet Van Gogh' is forever grateful."

from maggie's bio page in Whales. . .
"I wish we could bring back whales to the sea by growing them in gardens, but we can't. We must, while they are still with us, honor whales' right to exist. We must honor all beings who rely on us, by using only our fair share of earth's gifts. This we must do through service—through action—and not just with our eager pounding hearts."

Riddle: How is a warbler a lot like a whale? For the answer, read the following excerpt from Caring in Remembered Ways, maggie's new book.

A while back our talented friend Paul Sullivan gave a concert in our town. During the concert, Paul introduced us to his new synthesizer. Two or three times, the synthesizer bleeped when it should have blooped and blipped when it should have blapped. In true Victor Borgian style, Paul sprinkled in comments that set the audience rolling with laughter. It was after the show, though, that magic happened. Paul played something wondrous and unexpected, then, stunning those of us who'd stayed to listen.

The first music we heard was the song of a yellow-throated warbler. Paul had entered the song on his synthesizer from a dat tape he'd recorded in the woods behind his home, up here on our Maine peninsula.

Slowly, Paul decreased the vibration of the warbler's song. Before we knew what was happening, we were listening to the song of a humpback whale. Back and forth Paul moved us—whale to warbler, warbler to whale. Everything I had ever said, or written, or witnessed regarding the interconnectedness of all life paled in the brilliance of those moments.

Read more excerpts from maggie's book. Caring in Remembered Ways is for all of us—young or older, well or in pain, joyful or sorrowing, evergrowing, who choose to bring our love to life. Order your copy today.

A river dolphin isolated in capitivity for thirty years moves to embrace the first person sent in to swim with him. A woman who gave birth to a stillborn child is greeted by two dolphins in the wild, one who has just lost her young and one who is pregnant. A little boy learns to walk agan, touched by healing dolphins.

In the end, dolphins will tend us as long as there are dolphins at all. In the end, for them, there is no end of love.

from maggie's most recent book, Caring in Remembered Ways

color bar

A Garden of Whales is available from your local bookstore or from:


in the U.S. 1-800-387-5085
1-800-565-6034 (fax)
in Canada 1-800-387-6192
1-800-450-0391 (fax)

Some Dolphin and Whale links . . .

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has been on the front lines since 1977, directly defending the world's marine wildlife to maintain global biodiversity. This is achieved through the research, investigation and video-documentation of violations of international laws, regulations and treaties established to protect these species.


Interview with Scott Taylor regarding
The Legend of the Golden Dolphin

The Legend of the Golden Dolphin is many things: it is a collection of traditional tales, telling of the role the Dolphin has played in the development of human culture. From India, Sumeria, Chaldea, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Mali, South Africa, Australia, China, the South Pacific, the Amazon basin and Central and North America come mythic tales of a deep connection between Humans and Dolphins; it is a legend in the sense of an explanatory footnote, indicating the significance of certain features in the map or image one is examining; it is a prophetic message, declaring the advent of a return of a Spirit which has enlightened mankind for many centuries, that of the Golden Dolphin, or the Spirit of Freedom.


Read excerpts from maggie's most recent book . . .


Return to Home Page

color bar

maggie s davis
324 Grant Street, Ellsworth, ME 04605

Copyright © 1996 - 2023 maggie s davis. All Rights Reserved.