elephants remember cover






“This true story of courage and compassion is brought to life by stunning illustrations.  You will be awed and humbled by the deep connections possible between humans and animals.  And you will be inspired to do all you can to help protect whales.”

— Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE
Founder - the Jane Goodall Institute
& UN Messenger of Peace 


“This is a beautiful story, one of the most moving I have heard about, showing that a whale is capable of gratitude, and can understand that some humans, at least, want to help whales, not harm them. The drawings and the story are simply enchanting. I don't believe it is possible to read this without tears, but good tears for a change!  I highly recommend it to all children, who will understand its significance immediately!”

— Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson,
New York Times bestselling author of When Elephants Weep

Science Book a Day Blog by George Aranda

The Eye of the Whale featured on the book page.
Jennifer’s interview about The Eye of the Whale.

The Eye of the Whale

– A Rescue Story

written and illustrated by Jennifer O’Connell

Available at: Your Local Bookstore  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Amazon

  • Green Earth Book Award
  • Moonbeam Gold Award
  • Maryland Blue Crab Award, Honor Book
  • Reading Is Fundamental's 2013-2014
    STEAM Multicultural Booklist
  • 2014 Maine Literary Awards Finalist
  • The Society of School Librarians International, 
    Honor Book  

On a cool December morning off the coast of San Francisco, a local fisherman radioed a distress call to shore. He had discovered a humpback whale tangled in hundreds of yards of crab-trap lines, struggling to stay at the surface to breathe. A team of volunteers answered the call, and four divers risked their lives to rescue the enormous animal. What followed was a rare and remarkable demonstration of animal behavior.  The whale swam around the divers in joyous circles, then gently nudged and looked directly at each diver. The divers say that it was one of the most fantastic moments of their lives.

This celebrated story will make you wonder about animal emotions and the unique connections we can have with animals—even whales.

Jennifer reading the book

The trailer

Chelsea Clinton's endorsement

Teachers Take Note” Educators Guide for the Eye of the Whale at www.TilburyHouse.com

Activities that support The Eye of the Whale as well as Guides for Educators, Parents and Families, and Community Coordinators, designed by RIF - Reading Is Fundamental

Coloring Pages


“ With this story that amazes while it informs, readers cannot help but be touched by a singular event in which an ensnared humpback whale makes a profound connection with her rescuers. …O’Connell expertly merges the art of storytelling with journalistic excellence in recounting this well-researched past event. …The painted illustrations portray the situation from various perspectives and are a strong complement to the gripping text.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Will spark discussions about the whale’s ability to experience and demonstrate emotions.”  

— School Library Journal


“Captures the excitement and danger of a real life rescue…”  

— Parents Express, Montgomery Media


“Spare lyrical prose and stunning illustrations…”  

— Washington Parent


“The limited text and enchanting pictures will leave young and old readers thrilled with the joyous ending, and in awe of the intelligence of whales and their ability to communicate.”  

— Children’s Literature 


“Sure to be popular in the Bay Area and with whale-lovers everywhere.”  

— Bay Views 


For the full reviews, click here.