BACK TO THE BLUE by Virginia McKenna


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This Born Free Wildlife Book about the removal of one of the last captive dolphins in the UK to the wild--shown from from both the dolphin's and his rescuers' points of view--suffers from mediocre writing and a too-visible agenda. After more than 18 years in a ""barren concrete pool,"" Rocky the dolphin ""could only dimly remember"" freedom. A woman arrives who has ""eyes that were sad and filled with tears,"" and who, with a crew, transports him to a West Indian lagoon where he's later joined by companions Missy and Silver, and eventually released into the open sea. McKenna then tells the tale from the other side, describing how an activist mounted a local campaign on Rocky's behalf and, with the help of an animal-rights coalition, saw him freed. The first section is illustrated with hazy turquoise paintings; the second with an unsystematic selection of full-color snapshots that mostly convey how many people were involved in the rescue effort. A stinginess of detail plagues the account: Missy and Silver are barely mentioned, there are only hints of intriguing complications in Rocky's rescue, and, after a mention of the closure of two of the UK's last three dolphin shows, there is total silence about the fate of the remaining one. Random dolphin facts fill the final pages of this superficial commemoration of a triumph of the animal-rights movement.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1998
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Millbrook