A bottlenose dolphin calf and her pod lead a lost baby whale from the shallow waters of the Great Barrier Reef to his mother in the deep open ocean.
From dawn through dusk and night to morning, Bailey follows a young dolphin on an improbable adventure. As in previous titles about the savanna, the Antarctic, and the rainforest in this appealing series, the author/illustrator portrays the waters around Australia as full of wildlife. The front endpapers identify 41 different “animals of the ocean shallows,” while the rear ones show 28 “animals of the ocean deep.” Many are also pictured in the engaging illustrations within. This is good, as child readers are likely to be more caught up in identifying the creatures than gripped by the slim story. These crisp, simple images successfully show the difference between the colorful, sunlit reef environment and the darker ocean, but they don’t quite convey the striking difference in population density. Furthermore, the blacktip reef shark and the giant moray eel, which in real life prefer the shallower waters around the reef, are pictured as deep-ocean inhabitants. Some useful facts about the dolphins are sprinkled into the narrative: They communicate in squeaks, clicks, and whistles; they work together to hunt; and, like other mammals, they breathe air and their calves drink milk.
A pleasant introduction to ocean inhabitants that will show well at storytime. (Informational picture book. 4-7)