Granny’s Clan: A Tale of Wild Orcas

By Dr. Sally Hodson

Illustrated by Ann Jones

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Can you imagine being a 100 year old Granny? How about a 100 year old Granny that has spent her entire life in the Pacific Northwest Ocean?  This Granny rules as the matriarch of an orca whale pod. She leads the family in searching for salmon, teaches young mothers how to care for their babies, and plays with all the pod.  Third graders will learn about how the orcas live in the ocean with descriptions of daily life. With the help of soft, colorful, and detailed illustrations, the book moves beautifully through the sea with the Orcas.

The illustrations show all that Granny sees and does as the pod hunt for food and ‘talk‘ to each other.  Included are many of the descriptive sounds that that the orcas make. We see the orcas swimming past sharks, squid, kelp, rock fish, octopus and other sea creatures.

Third graders will enjoy reading or listening to this book about the Killer Whales. Granny’s Clan is a nonfiction book that reads as a story which students will enjoy.  Dr. Sally Hodson is a past executive director of the Whale Museum in Friday Harbor, Washington (

Students will learn more information about orcas in the back pages of the book, such as  information on the orca’s distinctive fins, and the different moves that they do in the water along with other facts about the whales.

The illustrator, Ann Jones, lives on Orcas Island. During her first day of her painting the illustrations for Granny’s Clan,  she hear and see a clan of orcas near the shore of her home. Her work can be viewed at

At you will find additional activites from Dr. Hodson.

  • Grannys ClanTitle: A Tale of Wild Orcas; Granny’s Clan
  • Author: Dr. Sally Hodson
  • Illustrator: Ann Jones
  • Publisher, Dawn Publications, 2012
  • Reviewer: Susan Couture
  • Paperback,27 pages
  • ISBN: 978-1-58469-172-5
  • Genre: nonfiction
  • Lexile: 690

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