Down in the deep ocean, a young dolphin explores the beauty of the kelp forest and also discovers it has dangers.
In many places, the ocean floor harbors forests of kelp, which are home to many creatures, both large and small, including Dolphin. As the kelp dips and sways, Dolphin dances with a shoal of sardines. As the sea swells, the kelp ripples and Dolphin plays with sea lions. When the sea becomes stormy and rough, the kelp forest twists and corkscrews around everything in it. Although it is a sheltering place for many, from the diminutive sardines through tuna to a blue whale, predators have learned to hunt in the kelp forest for their sustenance. When Dolphin happens upon a great white shark and then an orca, he must struggle to survive. MacCarthy’s text is delightfully alliterative and onomatopoeic: “the giant kelp / twirls and twists, twirls and twists”; “zig zag zig zag / Dolphin dances for his life in the deep, dark kelp forest.” The powerful use of verbs adds to the drama of underwater sea life and will keep readers turning the pages. Her swirling paintings modulate in palette to suit the mood. The book ends with a fun challenge to young readers: Can you turn back and find the 36 sea creatures mentioned in the story? Each creature here is clearly labeled and identified as inhabiting California’s kelp forests.
An exciting marine adventure just right for reading aloud. (Picture book. 3-6)