Alfred the Dolphin really enjoyed his monotonous life on the sea, but once in awhile he hankers for a break in the boredom. He gets his wish, when his fascination for a fishing boat leads him away from his family to a strange city. Yet because he is always on the lookout for his sister and father and listening for the strange sound of his grandfather who was always mumbling, ""Popocatepetl! Combustible! and Flabbergasted!"", he sees very little of the beautiful city of Venice. Unfortunately the reader does not fare much better, for Andre Francois' black crayon illustrations, in their attempt to re-create a child's drawings, leave a potentially clever idea unfulfilled.