top of page

Karen Swann

- Picture Book Author -


The Tale of the Whale Book Front Cover.P


Where land becomes sky and the sky becomes sea,

I first saw the whale and the whale first saw me...

So begins a lyrical journey of wonder and discovery and a very special friendship. But it is also a journey that brings us an important message that the whale wants us to hear, if we are willing to listen.

The Tale of the Whale is beautifully illustrated by Padmacandra and published in the UK by Scallywag Press.



‘Not since The Snowman has a journey conjured so much sheer joy, connection and imagination… empowering and positive, a book that explores our connection with the natural world, text and images working beautifully together.' BOOKS FOR KEEPS


A rolling, rhyming text that scans and richly textured images celebrate the sea through a child’s lyrical journey on the back of a whale. With a concluding call to arms about clearing the ‘plastic soup’. THE SUNDAY TIMES CULTURE MAGAZINE

'A beautifully illustrated and sensitive story that will inspire younger children to consider the environment.' SCHOOL READING LIST

'The illustrations are stunning bringing the diverse life found in our oceans to life for the reader; there is a sense of wonder and exploration on every page.'


'Words and pictures work in perfect harmony.'



Shortlisted for the North Somerset Teacher's Book Award 2021

Shortlisted for the Spark! School Book Awards 2022

Winner of the Derby Book Festival Children's Picture Book Award 2022

Shortlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize 2022

Shortlisted for the Singapore ISLN Red Dot Book Award

Also available:

( via external links )

The Tale of the WHale Dutch Karen Swann Padmacandra_edited.jpg
The Tale of the Whale Slovenian Karen Swann Padmacandra_edited.jpg
The Tale of the Whale Turkish Karen Swann Padmacandra_edited.jpg
The Tale of the Whale Welsh English dual language Karen Swann Padmacandra_edited.jpg
The Tale of the Whale USA Karen Swann Padmacandra_edited.jpg


The Tale of the Whale Karen Swann Padmacandra Book Front Cover_edited.jpg


The Tale of the Whale Greek cover image_edited.jpg


Portuguese cover.jpg

Welsh/English Dual Language

Korean cover The Tale of the Whale

American English

Australia (English)




bottom of page