Little Truff and the Whales

This book was created in conjunction with the New Zealand Department of Conservation
An interactive book for the whole family.

Little Truff senses something is wrong.

At sea, in a boat with her family, she tugs her master to the stern.

“A whale’s out there. It hasn’t moved,” Dad tells his family. “I think it’s tangled in a net and trying to get free.”

The net is pulling her down. The humpback is slowly drowning.

“What can we do to save the whale?” Truff thinks. “One slap from her could kill us – but we can’t just sit here and watch the humpback die … “

Sneak Preview: Take a look inside this book.


A huge “Thank you” to the following organizations for their support in creating this book:

Readers’ Comments:

This is an exciting book, warm and inspiring, with heart-felt conservation messages that grip the reader as it unfolds. – Sir Bob Harvey KNZM QSO, Chair of Waterfront, Auckland.

Beautifully written with compassion and accuracy, readers share a lasting message as they journey with the rescuers – the key to success is safety for the helpers and respect for the whale … inspirational. – Douglas Coughran AM, Senior Wildlife Officer, Marine Wildlife Operations, Science and Conservation Division, Department of Parks and Wildlife, Western Australia. He is Australia’s leading expert in large whale disentanglements and a member of the International Whale Commission.


Little Truff and the Whales by Ann Russell is the perfect book for Christmas, boys or girls. What a lovely story, fully illustrated.

The comprehensive information at the back of the book takes it to a whole new level, depicting the plight of our marine life, and DOC’s approach to rescues. It’s so important that our children appreciate that there is more to life than what they can see around themselves.

As far as interactive reading goes, this would be one of my favourites. The rhyming makes the reading more memorable. And as a grandmother, I can’t wait to read this to my grandchildren. And the art work is beautiful, current and precise. I just love it. – Review from Dr Bronwyn Elsmore,

Background to story:

Project Jonah Marine Mammal Medic Training Course
For more information, phone 09 302 3106

  • Once, when travelling through the Marlborough Sounds, I saw a span of water through the trees, then a whaling station. Lying in front of a row of grey buildings was the wharf and the butchered carcass of a whale. It was ginormous in comparison to the white uniformed men hacking it, and although the bus quickly passed by, I’ve never forgotten the sense of horror and revulsion the scene had given me.
  • On the positive side, it has always been a joy to watch dolphins dance beside a boat I’m in. These delightful creatures are small whale family members, and many are under threat of extinction.
  • Having lived long enough to see marked changes in the ecology of the planet, I wanted to do my bit for the whales and the wonderful people who care for them and their environment.

Special Features of this book:

Readers will love these two double pages with their accompanying videos:

The New Zealand Large Whale Disentanglement Team which shows how the Department of Conservation saves an entangled whale.


Project Jonah New Zealand saves stranded whales

Buy the Book

32 pages,
ISBN 978-0- 473-36775- 6 Paperback

New Zealand:

From Whitcoulls, Paperplus and all good bookshops: price NZ$21.00.

Special rates for New Zealand Schools, Libraries and Marine Organizations.


Overseas readers may purchase the book from booksellers listed here or the author.
The postage and packaging charge from New Zealand will vary depending on the number of copies purchased and the destination. Buy now!

Little Truff and the Whale Gallery:

Photos from Project Jonah Marine Mammal Medic Training Course.

Fun and Games