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by Seymour Simon

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Exceptional nonfiction for children from two of the most trusted names in science education: Seymour Simon and the Smithsonian Institution.


Exceptional nonfiction for children from two of the most trusted names in science education: Seymour Simon and the Smithsonian Institution.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Heather L. Montgomery
Seymour Simon presents the reader with an abundance of factual information about dolphins in this text. Due to the density of the text, the book is best for readers who are already excited by the topic and those in the upper end of the recommended 5-9 age-range. The first half of the book covers topics such as dolphins that "play" with people, classification, dolphins versus porpoises, feeding habits, use of echolocation, and social behavior. The second half of the book offers a more in-depth look at four species, their size, markings, specialized adaptations, and habits. The book concludes with information about how humans have negatively impacted dolphins and how people can help. Clear, appealing, page-size photos accompany each spread. Labeling of these photos and/or inclusion of additional photos (i.e., for comparison of dolphins and porpoises) would have helped in the comprehension of the text. Although the book has a clearly designed structure, it does not use headings to clarify the structure for the reader. One page of back matter includes a glossary, index, and a section that lists suggested web pages and additional books on the subject matter. Reviewer: Heather L. Montgomery
Children's Literature - Sarah Knight
Dolphins have always fascinated humans. The image of the bottlenose dolphin smiling at its human counterparts or playing tag with a speedboat is ingrained in the human psyche. Seymour Simon demonstrates that the affable bottlenose dolphins are in fact a small segment of a larger classification of whales; there are 35 species of dolphins and 5 species of porpoises, and both are classified under the larger category of whales. In fact, dolphins and porpoises are merely smaller, toothed whales. This text offers insight concerning dolphin behavior, anatomy, and environment; it undeniably broadens the reader's conception of dolphins. Additionally, beautiful, often stunning pictures of dolphins and porpoises complement the writing. For example, when describing the strength of the mother-calf bond, a full-sized photo of mother and calf nestling underwater offers a memorable image of the bond. The text offers a plethora of information about dolphins and would be highly beneficial for classroom instruction. Some examples of the information included in the book are: dolphins not only live in the ocean, but also live in the rivers of South America and Asia; river-dwelling dolphins are known as freshwater dolphins, and the fastest moving dolphin or porpoise is the Dall's porpoise. Full-page photos complement these facts and enable children to easily understand and remember a new, broadened concept of dolphins. Reviewer: Sarah Knight
School Library Journal

Gr 2-5

Partnering with the Smithsonian Institution, the noted science writer captures readers' attention immediately as he describes the "clever, curious, and mischievous" dolphins that seem to be unafraid of humans. He admits that there really isn't that much difference between dolphins and porpoises and reveals the way to tell them apart-"dolphins often swim on or just below the surface, riding the bow waves of fishing boats." The brightly colored photographs take up one side (or more) of each spread, and the accompanying text balances descriptions of the characteristics of the animals with the threats posed to their survival in today's world. A half-page glossary defines a range of terms, including the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 that complements the environmental information included in the text. The index leads readers to discussions of such terms as "beached dolphin," "red tide," "pollution," and "commercial fishing," as well as "aunties" (female dolphins other than the mother who help raise babies), "dominance," and "prey." Simply outstanding.-Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA

ALA Booklist
Simon presents fascinating facts about these playful mammals…in terms that children can understand. Without being didactic, he discusses the physiology and habits of dolphins, as well as the greatest threat to the species-humans. Children, teachers, and librarians alike will be drawn to this clear, colorful book.
The Horn Book
Cute, smart, and approachable, dolphins have long fascinated humans. Simon draws readers beyond this initial captivation into deeper discussions of dolphin species, describing their life cycles and social organization. As always, he guides readers through intricate topics (for example, the potentially confusing dolphin-porpoise-whale terminology) with remarkable clarity.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.10(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Seymour Simon has been called "the dean of the [children's science book] field" by the New York Times. He has written more than 250 books for young readers and has received the American Association for the Advancement of Science/Subaru Lifetime Achievement Award for his lasting contribution to children's science literature, the Science Books & Films Key Award for Excellence in Science Books, the Empire State Award for excellence in literature for young people, and the Educational Paperback Association Jeremiah Ludington Award. He and his wife, Liz, live in Great Neck, New York. You can visit him online at, where you can read "Seymour Science Blog" and download a free four-page teacher guide to accompany this book, putting it in context with Common Core objectives. Many of Seymour's award-winning books are also available as ebooks.

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Dolphins 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MomsChoiceAwards More than 1 year ago
Dolphins is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom's Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of PBS's Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, and New York Times best-selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books. . Parents and educators look for the Mom's Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families.