“If You Want to See a Whale” by Julie Fogliano & Erin E. Stead

“If You Want to See a Whale” by Julie Fogliano & Erin E. Stead

We’ve got an upcoming long weekend in Seattle/Victoria planned, so it seemed an appropriate time to break out Julie Fogliano and Erin E. Stead’s If You Want to See a Whale.

With this semester of grad school wrapping up and a new business to run, we’ve had only slightly more than zero time to plan the trip, other than booking our airline tickets and hotel room. But, we’ve heard that the absolute thing to do in Victoria is to go whale watching, so that’s at the very tip-top of our otherwise non-existent to do list.In our area, we mostly only see grey whales off the coast, and those stay pretty well underwater, so that we often go “whale spout watching” more than actual whale watching. So we’re pretty excited about the possibility of getting on a boat and actually seeing some orcas!

Of course, there’s always the chance of a complete bust, or at least of it taking some patience, which isn’t always in plentiful supply when you’re three years old. What a relief to have “If You Want to See a Whale” to teach us about the importance of patience. Unlike “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” which teaches kids about the [sometimes never-ending!] consequences of our actions, “If You Want to See a Whale” goes in the opposite direction, and teaches about all the things that lead up to getting what we want.

For our literary-inspired outfits, we went with a couple of adorable wide-brim hats, because if you want to see a whale, you’ve got to keep the sun out of your eyes! I’m currently obsessing over this striped shawl collar pullover from Janie and Jack. At $46, it’s our splurge for this outfit, but it’s so classic and versatile that we feel ok about it (not to mention, there’s a few sales on some of the other items going on at the moment!)


"If You Want to See a Whale" children's literature inspired outfit for little boys <3 Sources for our whale-inspired boy’s outfit:

Bucket Hat

Whale Shirt

Striped Pullover

Cuffed Jean Shorts

Leather Sandals  (currently sold out)





Our girl’s outfit uses the same whale shirt, but dolls it up with a little ruffle skirt and a pair of jelly sandals that my three year old won’t stop asking for. 3/4 length leggings under the skirt provide a little more coverage for the beach, while still leaving the ankles bare for some unencumbered wave-frolicking.

Sources for our whale-inspired girl’s outfit: Toddler Girls Summer Beach Outfit based on children's picture book "If You Want to See a Whale"

Striped Sunhat

Whale Shirt

Denim Ruffle Skirt

3/4 Length Leggings

Mary Jane Jelly Sandals