Abler tells of 2002 rescue and relocation of an orphaned orca in the Pacific Northwest, focusing on the efforts of two Canadian scientists for narrative effect.
The orphaned orca, called Springer, was first noticed swimming alone by a ferry dock near Seattle. She became a cause célèbre with the public, and scientists and government officials from the U.S. and Canada worked together to save Springer. She was captured, nursed back to health, and then transported back to Canada to successfully rejoin her original pod. The fairly lengthy text details all the complex steps and dramatic circumstances of Springer’s rescue and rehabilitation as well as her gradual acceptance and integration with members of her orca family. A heartwarming conclusion on the final page of the story introduces Springer’s own calf, named Spirit. Vibrant illustrations with broad blue expanses of sea and sky include a wide variety of perspectives and intriguing views of orcas swimming and breaching. The attractive cover illustration shows Springer breaching to the right, leading readers straight into the book. Human characters are diverse, including First Nations people who participated in Springer’s rescue. Additional material included as backmatter provides more specifics about the event, additional facts on orcas and their pods, a map of the rescue journey, and ways to improve the environment for orcas.
A spirited introduction to a fascinating rescue. (bibliography, resources) (Informational picture book. 6-10)