Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “To the Sea” as Want to Read:
To the Sea
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

To the Sea

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  733 ratings  ·  164 reviews
Sometimes Tim feels invisible at school-until one day, when Tim meets Sam. But Sam isn't just any new friend: he's a blue whale, and he can't find his way home! Returning Sam to the sea is hard work, but Tim is determined to help. After all, it's not every day you meet a new friend!

This picture book about the power of friendship by new talent Cale Atkinson is b
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 2nd 2015 by Disney-Hyperion
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about To the Sea, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about To the Sea

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  733 ratings  ·  164 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of To the Sea
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another beautiful story about friendship.
Jillian Heise
I have a new favorite picture book friendship - I adored Tim & Sam and their story of finding a friend when they previously felt invisible. The color palette is striking and the illustrations are fabulously endearing. Loved this one!
Haley Shaffer
Being invisible. Explicit theme.
Jacob Michael
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Piya Gofy got me this book. Sam is a big blue whale and he says "I see you". The boy is me. And I meet Gofy. He's a googoogaga Gofs playing on the sand.
The Styling Librarian
Dec 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
To the Sea by Cale Atkinson – Beautiful little friendship story. Very cute. Appreciated the friendship and the characters who appreciated not feeling invisible to everyone. Good book for discussing loneliness. This book had the best best best book trailer I’ve seen for the longest time.
Feb 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for New Picture-Books About Friendship
Shelves: picture-books
When Tim encounters a stranded blue whale named Sam on his way home from school one day, the young boy befriends the lost cetacean, promising to help him return to the sea. His initial ideas - driving, flying, etc. - prove less than effective, but then he hits upon the solution: he will use his bicycle to tow Sam down to the shore. When Tim's efforts leave him stranded in the sea, just as Sam was stranded on land, will his new friend return the favor...?

A sweet little tale of the fri
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lovely illustration! A cute story about finding a friend.
The Reading Countess
Beautiful. Simply told story of an invisible boy who simply wants to be seen. This is a must read at the beginning of the year to remind kids that we are all part of our community and that ARE seen. Highly recommended!
Brooklyn Cribdon (The Wild Library)
Such a beautiful story of friendship, belonging, love, and compassion. Not only is Atkinson's storytelling truly moving, but he also conveys so much emotion through his illustrations.
Jamey Crook
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My wife just read this to our kindergartner and I was absolutely blown away. The visuals are spectacular; the contrast that is so forced and contrived in so many recent films is put to great effect here. The inside world and things associated with it are vibrant orange and the sea, water, rain and the like are in lovely, greens and blues.

The narrative is lovely and meaningful. The boy steps up with kindness and sincerity and saves the whale. It's the kind of simple, wonderful story t
The best time to search for treasure is in the spring. With the extremely cold winters and lower water levels, more area freezes. The ice dredges up gems from the rocky and sandy bottom of Lake Michigan. Petoskey stones are plentiful.

The closest I have come to discovering living riches are glimpses of white-tailed deer splashing in the waves, seagulls looking for free food and drifting and diving ducks. To the Sea (Disney Hyperion, June 2, 2015) written and illustrated by Cale Atkinson explores
Caryn Caldwell
Jun 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Tim feels invisible until he finds a whale washed up on shore. When he and the whale are the only ones to notice each other, they form a friendship. But Tim knows that whales belong in the ocean, and he's determined to save his friend -- even if the dangerous plan he comes up with puts Tim himself at risk.

This is a lovely story with strong, bold illustrations, a hopeful ending, and a nice message about appreciating one's friends. Some children may find the scene where Tim nearly drow
Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: preschool, friends, whales
GUH, I love the color scheme of this book. The deep oranges and teals make me shiver -- so good. I'm not sure how it would go over in story time, but I'm definitely going to try it. It has the right number of words and lots of good stuff to talk about, but it might be a little quiet for my usual crowds?
Adorable and beautiful story about being alone, finding friends, and helping your friends. Unlike previous whale-friend stories I've read, it also makes the point that Whales are not going to be healthy when kept in a pool, which is good.
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you’ve been following me for any bit of time at all, you have probably picked up on the fact that we LOVE a good friendship story in this house… Especially a good friendship story with a repeated refrain that children can grasp and apply to their own lives! We fell in love with To the Sea by Cale Atkinson a year and a half ago, and it’s been requested at least weekly, if not more, ever since then.
To the Sea tells the story of Tim, who often feels unnoticed at school, unti
Sunah Chung
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A boy named Tim feels alone until he meets a blue whale named Sam. Since a blue whale should live in water, Tim makes his best efforts to take Sam to return home.
The story touches the feeling of isolation and unawareness in relation to friendship. By noticing each other, Tim and Sam could become friends. The affection from Tim towards Sam is well represented by illustrating glasses of water, a fish bowl, and turning a light on when Tim heads home leaving Sam behind. From Tim’s perspective
Reagan Busbee
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-lit
Tim doesn't have any friends and often feels like he is invisible. One day he comes across a whale named Sam, Sam had gotten lost and couldn't find his way back to the sea. Tim goes up to get sam a glass of water and they soon become friends. Tim promises to help sam get back to the ocean because friends dont let friends down. To find out if this pair of friends can find a way to get sam back to the ocean, be sure to read To The Sea
Opinion: *warning* do not read this book if you aren't rea
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Besides the vibrant and eye catching illustrations and the wonderful story, my favourite thing about @2dcale books is the dedication. He always has the most fitting dedications in his books. To The Sea is dedicated "to anyone who feels invisible and any whale that needs to get back to the sea." In the book, Tim feels invisible until he meets Sam, a blue whale, who sees him. Tim helps Sam figure out how to get back to the sea. Don't we all just need a friend sometimes, one who sees us for who we ...more
Lea Buchanan
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
This book is about a story of a young boy named Tim who made a friend with a whale named, Sam. Tim became best friends with Sam, and made it his mission to take Sam back to the ocean. He figured out a plan, and finally Sam was returned to sea. Tim explained to Sam that this was what best friends were for. I really loved this book. It showcased the importance of having friend, and what friends do for each other. I loved how the illustrations were in dark colors and blues, and the words were in br ...more
Tim (a boy) meets Sam (a whale). Sam got lost on his way to the sea. Can Tim help him get there?
A lovely story about friendship and keeping promises. The illustrations are great. The whale is adorable (as are his reasons for getting lost: not knowing his lefts from his rights).
The only problem I had with the book was the names. Tim and Sam. Sam and Tim. They run together. Which is which? I could see the storytime kids getting confused.
Still, the cute story, brief text, and fabu
Margaret Boling
1/26/2019 ~ A lovely story about helping others, feeling invisible, and making unlikely friends. I couldn't quite get past the idea that a small boy could tow a whale behind his bike through a city and to the ocean.

I'm always fascinated when I pick up my stack of holds at the public library. When I see the books there, I don't always remember why or when I requested them. In this case, I was especially curious about the appearance of two Cale Atkinson books. However, after reading so
Michelle Turnure
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rich, wonderful illustrations throughout. The handwritten font is also a nice visual while reading through the book. It's a nice story about a boy that meets a whale this is need of help getting back to the sea. The boy and the whale become fast friends as they devise a way to get the whale to sea. Cute story to read aloud.
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kiddies
Visually striking. This book has great themes. It’s got problem solving, opening yourself up to adventure and meeting new people, friendship, and the quality of good character.

It’s short, so it makes for a nice bedtime story. It’s visually engaging. I’ll read this over and over to my young child.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
A lonely boy meets, befriends, and rescues a stranded whale that no one else can see. A friendship story with the heartwarming message that "friends don't let friends down." Pair this with Dear Mr. Blueberry by Simon James, An Octopus Followed Me Home by Dan Yaccarino, or The Boy Who was Followed Home by Margaret Mahy.
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: friends, adventure, whales
This book was super cute. I can use it in many different story time themes such as friends, whales, rain, etc. The illustrations are precious and the text minimal so I can use it with a variety of books without my toddlers becoming restless.
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved the art. It was so cute to watch a little boy make friends with a whale that he found in an alley. Then he takes the whale home pulling him with a bike. I just really loved the pictures all around
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tim is a little boy who doesn't have any friends. Then he meets a beached whale named Sam and the two of them become friends. And it's up to Tim to help Sam get back to sea, because you never let a friend down.
Viviane Elbee
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
The artwork in this book is great. I loved how the colors reflect moods.

Very sweet, touching story about making new friends.

I think the part the kids preferred was Tim's solution to helping the whale find the ocean.
Lynn  Davidson
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
A sweet story about Tim who has no friends and feels invisible. One day he meets Sam, a whale who took a wrong turn and lost his way. They become friends and it's up to Tim to help Sam find his way back to the sea.
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Bold colors that draw the reader into the story. Excellent use of contrast. Adorable story about friendship.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Marilyn's Monster
  • Number One Sam
  • Be a Friend
  • Friendshape
  • Lizard from the Park
  • Hooray for Hat!
  • Lenny & Lucy
  • Toys Meet Snow: Being the Wintertime Adventures of a Curious Stuffed Buffalo, a Sensitive Plush Stingray, and a Book-loving Rubber Ball
  • Sea Rex
  • Bernice Gets Carried Away
  • The Skunk
  • Dear Yeti
  • We Forgot Brock!
  • Life
  • Where Are My Books?
  • Dream Friends
  • McToad Mows Tiny Island
  • Shy
See similar books…
Cale Atkinson is an illustrator/writer/animator currently residing in Kelowna Canada.
Believing in tea more than sleep, Cale is constantly working on numerous projects. His work can be found in children’s books, animated shorts, television, and games.

Publishers Cale has worked with include Disney Hyperion, Tundra, Simon and Schuster, Doubleday, KidsCan Press, Owl Books, Grosset & Dunlap, Grey
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »