READERS WRITE ABOUT ISABEL AND JESSALOUP

A TEACHER FROM CONNECTICUT
December 14, 2016
Your books have been become an annual tradition in third grade. They provide enrichment  during our language arts/science whale unit. My students were so sad to come to the end of these two amazing, and captivating stories that they asked if they could write letters to you asking you to write another book in the series. The children are always so engrossed in them as we read them aloud, because you include so much rich, descriptive language, information about whales, and wonderful “cliff hangers”!

SYDNEY
May 19, 2016
Hi I'm in love with your books the series Isabel of the Whales I'd love to know if you are working on a third book. It is all I would want in the world. Your books inspire me to help others and work harder and that the world will get better, please make another book, it doesn't even have to be that long! I've read Isabel of the Whales about 10 times and Jessaloups Song about 7 times, so in conclusion I can't wait, im going to ask for a hard copy of your book because the one I ve been reading for years is from the library. LOVE YOU SOOOO MUCH!!!!
- Sydney, age 12 1/2

A MESSAGE FROM BALI
February 17, 2016
Hi, I am a 16 year old student from Bali, Indonesia. I was rummaging through some old boxes of books the other day (i.e. reading all old books and ignoring all other responsibilities) and found Isabel of the Whales-- I cried while re-reading it. I actually bought this book in Ubud, the more 'artsy' part of Bali. I must have been nine years old when I read it, but rediscovering this book completely brought me back into the enchanting story you created. I felt so at home while reading Isabel of the Whales, and was inspired when I read it to look into conservation. Now,here I am, planning on studying Environmental Law! Your book lit a fire inside of me, and made me feel such a semblance for marine life and all of its wonderful facets.
      I have not yet given up on my 9 year-old dream of seeing Humpback whales. Unfortunately, they are not really found in Indonesia. However, I have been diving with so many wonderful animals many times, and was particularly taken by the whale sharks and manta rays I dived with on a mission with some marine-science friends.
      Sorry if this letter is out of the blue, but I just really wanted to thank you for inspiring me and for helping me find my passion.
      Terima kasih banyak untuk buku kamu! -- Chloe

A 2ND GRADE TEACHER
February 12, 2016
My students have absolutely adored Isabel of the Whales, and we are nearing completion of Jessaloup's Song. I have to be honest, I'm not sure two books have ever captured them in quite the way these two have. Every time I end the read-aloud time, the students moan with disappointment, and cheer if we have time to squeeze in one more chapter. That happens occasionally, but it's really been the norm for every read-aloud with your two remarkable novels!

MADELYNN
September 2, 2013
I believe I first picked up Isabel of the Whales in fourth grade, recommended to me by a friend. Thinking back on it, I can remember how captivating it was, to be thrown into this great underwater world with all the whales, and Isabel. I loved her character, also- it seems to me that great female characters can be hard to come by in children's books, and yet Isabel was fantastic to see this whole new universe through. The diverse attitudes in the characters were rich and hilarious- I loved the contrast between young and sassy Isabel and her calm and patient teacher, and the competitive Jessaloup. I especially loved him. I loved the book so much that I'll guiltily admit that I kept the book through the years, even though it belonged to my teacher! ( It was the wrong thing to do, but I couldn't give it up!) Now, six years later, I found myself picking it up and rereading it, and still filled with awe and inspiration. Even as a 15- year- old, it is one of my favorite books, and Jessaloup's Song is fabulous as well. I want to thank you, as an aspiring writer, for creating such a masterpiece that would stick with me for so long! Isabel and Jessaloup will be close to my heart forever. Enclosed are some drawings I've done, of Isabel and Jessaloup and Human Jessaloup. I hope you don't mind me drawing them!
   — Madelynn S.

FROM HENRY
March 21, 2016
Dear Hester Velmans
I thought Isabel of the Whales was the best book I ever red in my life. A girl turning into a whale is so cool. My favorit Part was when she stabbed the boat in the rudder. I just thought that was so cool. I hope to read the 2nd book. Your biggist fan,
Henry, age 8

I love to hear from fans, please leave a comment!

*Email address kept confidential

Some young fans made a delightful Youtube video of Isabel of the Whales:

SKYLER
August 7, 2014
Dear Hester Velmans,
I am a huge fan of your books!  I owned your book for a couple of years, given to me by a friend. I love books so when I had finished my stock pile a couple of days ago I picked up Isabel of the Whales and gave it a try. I was enchanted and could not put it down. I tried to pace myself, but I finished it in a matter of hours. Desperate for more, I searched the internet and found Jessaloup's song. Again finishing it in a day. I really connected with the characters and like Isabel, I want to be a Marine biologist. Unlike Isabel, I also want to be an author and have started writing my own book. If you have any tips for me, I would appreciate it very much. I really would like to see you write another book to this series. I am 14, even though this series was meant for younger audiences I am a proud reader and will tell all of my friends to read your books!! If you decide to write another I will probably cry with joy!! Until then I will be searching the internet for fanfictions to fill the whole of needing to read your books in my soul!