A daydreaming Arctic seal finds himself lost in tropical waters in this children’s picture book.
This book is based on the true story of a young seal that became stranded off Antigua in the Caribbean. Thanks to the Antiguan Coast Guard, he was rescued and returned to his native waters. As told by Hillhouse (With Grace, 2016, etc.), the story centers on an Arctic seal called Dolphin because of his nose. A slow swimmer and a daydreamer, Dolphin falls behind his friends one day and drifts into the path of an enormous ship, which hits him and knocks him out. Waking up, Dolphin finds himself in strange waters. The sea is too warm and the creatures are unfamiliar, though friendly. He learns he’s in the Caribbean and that some good humans might help him. He meets actual dolphins and wishes he could stay with these new friends, but he also wants to go home. As he’s carried on a stretcher toward a plane, Dolphin can’t wait to talk about his Caribbean adventure. A maze puzzle is included. Boodoo-Fortuné’s illustrations convey the Caribbean’s beautiful colors; large lash-fringed eyes (sometimes realistically, as for seals, sometimes less so, as with jellyfish) indicate the characters’ trustworthiness and affection. Children will likely relate well to this story of getting lost while daydreaming and to the reassurance that kindly adults will look after strays. The book also gives them a chance to learn more about the work of environmentalists and Caribbean sea life.
An appealing book, all the more so for being based on real life.