A dramatic dolphin rescue tale told by a young eyewitness named Nicole.
When three dolphins are trapped in a cove by sheets of ice blown in by a winter storm, five brave young men, including the narrator’s brother Aaron, come to their aid. Based on an actual incident in Newfoundland in 2009, this life-and-death story will resonate with readers as much as it did with the western Canadian writers and illustrator who gave it a new life. To Nicole and others in her small coastal town, the cries of the trapped dolphins sound like an SOS, a call for help, but officials can’t help. No icebreaker is available. It’s up to a group of sympathetic townspeople to save the animals’ lives. Wearing survival suits and using a small boat in an operation that takes over five hours, they are successful. Nicole’s storytelling is straightforward. The spare text is set in a sea of whites and grays, a stark reminder of this moving rescue’s chilly setting. Flett’s equally spare illustrations show stylized figures. Spots of color break up the black-and-white patterns in these digitally combined collages. Notes about white-beaked dolphins and the actual incident are appended.
Distress gives way to relief in this you-are-there tale for young readers and listeners who enjoy real-life animal encounters. (Picture book. 5-8)