• {A Seaside Counting Book}
  • Written by Sheryl McFarlane
  • Illustrations by Kirsti Anne Wakelin
  • Ages: 3-5
  • Picturebook
  • 9 x 9.5, 24 pages
  • ISBN: 1-55041-681-2


“A counting book, a rhyming book, a seek and find book, and a nature book all combined. Don’t let this one pass you by. Let it sweep you away.”
— Curled Up With A Good Kid’s Book

“A rhyming counting book is hard to execute well, but A Pod of Orcas has risen to the challenge with expert craft”.
— Quill & Quire

“This seaside counting book by Victoria’s Sheryl McFarlane goes from one to 10 and back down again. The watercolour illustrations by Vancouver’s Kirsti Anne Wakelin show eagles, harbour seals, fishing boats and unmistakeably West Coast vistas. This is a counting book with a climax: a spread of breaching orcas.”
— Vancouver Sun

“Refreshingly, McFarlane sticks to realism; children can enjoy the counting, the energy of rhyme and rhythm, yet still glimpse elements peculiar to the region – harbour seals, freighters and trawlers, orcas and more. Wakelin’s watercolour illustrations sustain this realism. It’s not just that the flora and fauna are portrayed accurately; Wakelin manages to depict the reflected light of a sunny day on the strait, the graduated blues of mountains rising from the sea. A counting book that’s also a summer reverie.”
— Toronto Star

“Children will eagerly immerse themselves in the fresh, zesty depictions of a day at the seaside.”
— Times-Colonist

“The sparkle of the water in the muted watercolors gives them a look that’s both refreshing and dreamy.”
— Notes from the Windowsill

“Large, bright and beautiful illustrations take us on a walk by the ocean, where you can count boats, eagles, sea otters, sandcastles and orcas up the beach and then back down again as the day closes with the setting sun.”
— Burnaby Now


A Pod of Orcas

Excerpt from A Pod of Orcas

Five fearless pirates risk a leaky ride.
Six sturdy castles battle with the tide. 

Awards and Honours

  • Canadian Children’s Book Centre ‘Outstanding Book’
  • Short-listed for the Chocolate Lily Book Award

Author’s Inspiration

From the author…

I remember taking my children to the beach when they were small. They counted everything in sight, from seals to seagull. Counting is infectious. Even the adults jump up and count whales when a pod of Orcas appear!

WebLinks for Kids


Published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside: Toronto, 2002.

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