Sunday, June 23, 2019

~ MMGM DOLPHINS STRANGE WONDERFUL ~

~ MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE
MONDAY OCEANOGRAPHY
FEATURE ~ 
--  'DOLPHINS!  STRANGE AND WONDERFUL'  --
AUTHOR LAURENCE PRINGLE
ILLUSTRATOR MERYL HENDERSON

 LEARN MORE ON GOODREADS


ABOUT THE BOOK {from Goodreads}:
Introduces readers to dolphin species -- from the well-known bottlenose dolphin to several species of "blackfish" (including orcas) that most people believe are whales. Author Laurence Pringle's clear, informative text describes dolphins' habitats, physiology, communication, intelligence, parenting, what and how they eat, and much more. The book also discusses conservation and how dolphins can be protected from hunting, pollution, and other threats.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR {from his website}:
How I Became an Author
As a kid I never consciously wanted to be a writer, but some factors in my life helped lead me in that direction. I grew up in an isolated country home, and had few nearby playmates. So I read a lot and had a rich interior life (lots of daydreaming, imagining, and entertaining myself without people around). Alone, but not feeling lonely--a valuable characteristic for a writer!


In high school I was not good at sports, was not one of the "in" crowd, and read a lot. At 16 I had a short nonfiction piece published in a boy's magazine. And was paid $5 for it! (This was long ago, $5 then would be like $25 these days.) However, this didn't make me feel that I was on a path toward being an author. Nevertheless, a thin thread of writing, and wanting to be a writer, ran through my life. For college I considered majoring in either journalism or wildlife biology. I chose the latter.

 
At Cornell University I took a course in writing for magazines. Then, and later, as a graduate student, I submitted nonfiction articles to magazines. A few were published. (Some of the magazines didn't even pay, but they had readers and I was getting published!) A key turning point occurred when I dropped out of a Ph.D. program, giving up my dream of being a wildlife researcher or professor. This felt like disaster--for a while. But it was just a turning point that sent me in a wonderful direction. I took some journalism courses and learned enough to earn a job as a rookie editor at Nature and Science, a children's magazine published at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

 
This was extraordinary serendipity (I love that word!). I had never written for young readers but the magazine was for kids. Eager for ANY writing job, I landed one that just happened to involve writing for young people. I began to learn about that kind of writing. The magazine ceased publication after seven years, but by then I had begun to write books. And by then I was inspired because I believed that writing for children is more important than writing for adults.


That's my story. You might find it fun to ask other published writers about their paths to becoming authors.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR {from Simon and Schuster's Website}:
Meryl Henderson is a graduate of Syracuse University. In 1974, she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. For the past 44 years, she has been working as a freelance illustrator, specializing in artwork for children. She has illustrated more than a hundred books and has contributed illustrations to countless magazines and educational books. She currently lives in Catskill, New York.

MY THOUGHTS:
I usually write about the text of a book first and then discuss the illustrations. I'm going to break with tradition on this review because from the moment I opened this book, I was entranced by the illustrations! The artist, Meryl Henderson, has done a beautiful job of capturing the different kinds of dolphins presented by the author. Her scientific diagrams of their bodies and the interior of their heads are detailed and realistic. The underwater scenes are true-to-life and interesting.

This picture book presents an unbelievable amount of information in its thirty pages of text plus two pages of back matter. The author begins by sharing what the life of a young dolphin is like. This really draws in the reader. He moves on to scientific facts about dolphins and compares the species to whales and propoises. There are illustrations comparing these mammals which are labelled with the name and body length of each example. I loved this visual as it gave me a realistic idea of how these sea mammals compare to each other in size and appearance.

The author shares details about how the dolphins swim, dive, breach, eat, breath, and sleep. He does a fine job of explaining echolocation, which I found to be an amazing feature of dolphins. A section about dolphins as predators is eye-opening as it discusses how a school of hunting dolphins works together as a team in several ways to capture/conquer their prey. 

Finally, the social aspects of the dolphin community and their amazing communcation skills are explained. Examples are given regarding the intelligence of these animals and how scientists use their observations to learn about how dolphins and other animals are smart. 

I found the section on how dolphins are hunted by humans for meat and are negatively affected by fishing nets, water and air pollution, and heavy boat traffic to be poignant. This would be a great opportunity for a discussion about how and why these things happen and what man can do to change these dangers.

The back matter includes a thorough Glossary; a To Learn More section listing books, periodicals, websites, and sources; and an Index.

Highly-recommended to fans of oceanography, science, teachers/libarians, youth/scout/church groups, and learners of any age interested in reading more about this fascinating species!

I borrowed this book from the non-fiction shelves in the children's collection of the local public library.

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Learn about more great middle-grade reads by visiting Greg Pattridge's 'Always in the Middle' blog to find the links to other blog posts celebrating Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday!  
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πŸŒ‘ πŸš€ 🌟 COMING UP NEXT MONDAY, JULY 1st, ON READING, WRITING & STITCH-METIC  🌟 πŸš€ πŸŒ‘ -- Just in time for the 50th anniversary of the moon walk on July 20th, 1969, I'll have a biography feature on a new middle-grade book by Author Rinda Beach entitled, 'Neil Armstrong's Wind Tunnel Dream'.



                πŸŒ‘ πŸš€ 🌟 Post includes a paperback
           giveaway to one lucky US winner
                courtesy of the author! πŸŒ‘ πŸš€ 🌟


πŸŒ‘ πŸš€ πŸŒŸπŸŒ‘ πŸš€ πŸŒŸπŸŒ‘ πŸš€ πŸŒŸπŸŒ‘ πŸš€ πŸŒŸπŸŒ‘ πŸš€ 🌟




  

4 comments:

  1. It's hard not to love dolphins. I saw my first one in the ocean when I was about 8 years old. Thanks for sharing this book. You made it sound as irresistible as the dolphins themselves!

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  2. I am a sucker for dolphin and whale books. The information about a dolphin's social life/community would really interest me. Such intelligent and beautiful creatures. I imagine the illustrations are stunning!

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  3. I can see how kids would love this because dolphins are so loved. And I can see how the book could lead to great classroom discussions.

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  4. This looks like a terrific introduction for youngsters on dolphins. Thanks for telling me about it. I will try to check it out.

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