Whales on Stilts!

Book review by
Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media
Whales on Stilts! Book Poster Image
A fun and fantastic fish tale.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Stresses the importance of friendships, plus Lily learns to be the hero of her own story.

Violence & Scariness

Lily and her friends are shot at by guards; whales attack using laser-beam eyes; Jasper faces off against the evil enemy and his guards.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this book, while silly, does feature solid messages about believing in yourself and loving your friends. There's some violence (whales set fire to houses with their laser-beam eyes, for example), but the bizarre backdrop makes it hard to take seriously.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydemaion September 15, 2011

One of the most creative, fun books to be read aloud

Excellent story about friends. Superb story to read aloud. All of MT Anderson's books in this series are fantastic reads for pre-teens to senior citizens...

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What's the story?

Lily discovers that her dad's boss (a human/whale hybrid) is building stilts for whales so they can invade the land. She works with her two best friends to devise a plan to save the day.

Is it any good?

The plot here is fairly thin, but the characters and humorous details will appeal to kids (and parents and sophisticated readers, too). Lily's two friends, for example, are famous: Katie lives in a haunted neighborhood and faces off against zombies and werewolves, while Jasper is a "Boy Technonaut." Both have inspired their own series of books and have fan clubs. Fictional ads for their series' appear among the book's wonderful illustrations.

Readers will laugh out loud at the outlandish plot, Lily's clueless father (who doesn't guess his hooded boss's nature, even after watching him pour brine over his head), and the author's clever asides. It's the silliness that will sell this book. But the book really does have a heart, too: Lily, who "people didn't know was interesting," learns that she really is something special, and the friends work together, standing up for each other to the end.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the unique writing style. What genre would you put this in: science fiction, adventure, humor, coming-of-age? The author talks directly to the reader at times. Does that bother you or do you like it?

Book details

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