As a writer and Illustrator you spend a lot of time trying to come up with original thoughts… It was months before I finalized the name Benny as the lead character in my book, and I largely chose it, because I thought it had a nice ring to it, children seemed to like it, and my research couldn’t turn up any previous case of there being a “Benny the whale” in fiction. So when just weeks after releasing the book I read news headlines from around the world of a “Benny the whale” that had turned up in the River Thames over in England it brought a smile to my face!
Mark Twain once wrote:
“There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.”
And while I don’t necessarily want to believe in that, when my father sent me an article on Whales & Narwhals playing together in the St Lawrence I definitely did a double take… It is certainly not typical, and in the illustration below, which is one of the first pages in my “Benny the whale” book I had mainly added the Narwhal because I though the idea of him heading the beach ball with his tusk was hilarious! But according to this article it turns out they can be friends, and are in fact playing together, in of all places the St. Lawrence River! This article goes into detail on how a pod of beluga whales appears to have adopted a lost young narwhal.
People have asked me, why I chose a whale as the lead character for my first book? And I have always answered that it is the perfect character for a book about myths, Legends, and cryptids, as nobody would believe a creature as big, beautiful, and unique as the whale could exist, unless of course it actually did! I definitely think the same could be said for the Narwhal which in many ways is kinda like the Sea’s unicorn!
We are getting word out of England that Benny the whale is on the move again… I posted an article earlier this year, of the bizarre sighting of a Beluga whale named Benny in England, in the River Thames, that occurred shortly after my book came out! I’ve been following his story, and scientist now think that he almost certainly came in for the fish stocks, and then likely swum out again with the fish. Makes sense to me! No doubt on a new adventure. I t will be interesting to see where he pops up next!
Thanks to everyone who came out to the Benny the Whale reading at the Seaway Mall today. It was great seeing some familiar faces and getting to meet everyone! I was super excited for my first reading of Benny the whale and it was a great day. I was also really really impressed with all the entries in the Benny the whale coloring contest. Thanks so much to everyone who participated! There was some really great work, and It was very tough having to pick just 3 winners. It was also a great pleasure getting to meet Matteo one of the winners, who is working on his own book about a turtle, Good luck with it!
Thanks also to the Seaway Mall, and Welland EarlyOn center for having me. It was a real pleasure! and congrats again to all the winners of the coloring contest!
I’m very excited to say, I’m officially sold out of my first run of “Benny the whale goes to Niagara Falls” big thanks to family, friends, and everyone who has supported me in this venture. The support has been overwhelming, and I can’t really put into words how much it has meant to me, it really has been a lot of fun!
If you’re worried you missed your chance to get a copy, don’t worry the second run is underway, and I’m excited to announce with this second run I will be teaming up with the Niagara Region to help promote family reading here in Niagara. I also hope have a couple of other exciting announcements regarding Benny in the near future!
I look forward to reinvesting my time and energy into telling more stories, and hopefully bring more exposure to some of the great myths and legends and culture, we have here in Niagara. Thanks again for all the love everyone!
What happened to Benny after he went to Niagara Falls? is a question I’ve been asked quite a few times now, and we may have just found the answer! We are getting reports out of England, that a Whale named Benny has been seen in the River Thames. Benny who is a Beluga whale, has stayed in the Kent stretch of the river, feeding in sheltered areas. It is thought that Benny’s presence in the Thames could be tied to the shifting migratory patterns of whales, due to global warming and heavily used shipping lanes. But another possibility is that Benny just loves adventure! Possibly a bit of both…
Either way a great story which can be followed here: