Like bats and cats, dolphins are mammals. And like bats, they use echolocation to hunt. Here are two books that finally swam to the top of my book basket!
themes: animals, dolphins
by Maxwell Eaton III
32 pages; ages 4-8
Roaring Brook Press, 2018
This is a dolphin.
Dolphins may look like fish, but they aren't. They are mammals, just like bats, cats, and you. They talk to each other, though they don't use words. and they like to play. They even use echolocation to hunt their dinner, sort of like bats do - but in the water.
What I like about this book: I like the way Max Eaton uses dialog to embellish the text. Facts are on the page, but the dolphins talk about them! I like his excellent tutorial on how dolphins use echolocation (a full-spread illustration with labels and arrows). And I like how he includes a diversity of dolphins in the illustrations. Plus those cartoon illustrations are just plain fun.
by Jennifer Swanson, with Justine Jackson-Ricketts
112 pages; ages 8-12
National Geographic Kids, 2018
Justine Jackson-Ricketts is a marine biologist who loves dolphins. Good thing, because she is our guide into the world of dolphins. She does research on community ecology - that means she is learning how dolphins interact with each other and their environments.
In this book she and Jennifer Swanson team up to tell us all about dolphins, beginning with how they are related to each other and where to find them. Then we get a close-up look at dolphins, inside and out. They have streamlined heads so they can cut through water quickly, and their flippers have bones that look almost like fingers. They've got rubbery skin, layers of blubber, and a brain designed for problem-solving.
What I like about this book: The photography is gorgeous! And I really enjoy having Justine along for the read, because she (and Jennifer) explain everything in terms a non-dolphin can understand. I love the "Deep Dives" at the end of each chapter - hands-on activities that extend your understanding of life as a dolphin. And I love the Dolphin Personality Quiz. Turns out I'm a bottlenose dolphin. Click-ck-ck! Squeeeek? Bzzzzt!
Beyond the books:
Check out these dolphin and whale activities from Whale and Dolphin Conservation's website.
Make a dolphin craft. This site has 15 different dolphin crafts, from paper plate dolphins to origami.
Watch a video about dolphins (here).
STEM Friday, where you can discover other cool STEM books. And we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website . Review copies provided by publishers.