Born tail first, a baby dolphin swims immediately to the surface to breathe, then follows his mother, nursing, learning her call, gradually exploring his world, playing, learning and developing his own personal whistle.
Zoologist Davies has long experience writing about nature for young readers. Here, she describes the first six months of a bottlenose calf’s life through the story of Dolphin and Mom. A sentence or two of narrative description appears on each page, with additional facts in a smaller, italic text. She chooses appropriate information—appearance, breathing, diving, feeding and communication—and constructs her story to demonstrate the calf’s increasing independence. Her facts are accurate, and readers looking for specifics will appreciate the index and page numbers. An afterword identifies the particular species and reminds readers that caring for oceans will help ensure dolphin survival. Granström’s acrylic paintings are beautiful. Spreading across two pages, they emphasize the blues of the dolphin’s environment. The pink of their rostrums is occasionally and gloriously echoed in the sky. Although the author mentions that the calves lose their “folds and creases” in a few weeks, the illustrator hasn’t shown a newborn calf’s characteristic stripes, but she has certainly captured its appeal.
This introduction to dolphins is sure to win readers’ hearts. (Informational picture book. 3-8)