An Irish setter’s ocean mishap turns into a rescue by a dolphin and a lifeguard in this second children’s book series installment by author Dworkin and illustrator Chelich (The Dog and the Dolphin, 2014).
Red, who made friends with a dolphin in his previous adventure, is excited to go on a boat ride with his young owners, Henry and Theo. But when a storm kicks up, the journey back to shore becomes frightening—and then Red falls overboard. Luckily, Sophia, a lifeguard, is watching from shore, and she hops on her Jet Ski to rescue Red. And she’s not the only one on the way: Red’s dolphin friend aims to save the day as well. Young readers will love the idea of the dolphin giving Red a lift so that Sophia can raise him easily from the water. As she drives back to shore, beachgoers are entranced by what initially appears to be a dog driving the Jet Ski. One of the onlookers takes a photo, using his smartphone, before the dog’s owners reunite with him. The threat of the storm fades too quickly for it to feel as treacherous as it should, but the humorous situation of the dog on the Jet Ski will be comforting for young readers who prefer a less intense tale. Dworkin uses easily accessible vocabulary at a pace that will keep pre-K and kindergarten-age lap readers engaged, and he provides only a few challenges for independent readers in first through third grades (with words such as “struggling,” “churning,” and “bewildered”). Chelich’s realistic, painted illustrations will delight children, especially those that depict a dog wearing goggles. The diversity of the beachgoers is an especially nice touch, and Sophia makes an inspiring hero. Along with the dog and dolphin, many other photorealistic animals appear in frameworthy illustrations, including a sea turtle, an octopus, a crab, and numerous fish and seabirds.
A crowd-pleasing, comical adventure with only brief moments of danger, told in child-friendly prose and accompanied by gorgeous images.