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If A Dolphin Were A Fish

If A Dolphin Were A Fish

5.0 6
by Loran Wlodarski, Laurie Allen Klein (Illustrator)

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Join Delfina the dolphin as she imagines that she becomes other sea animals: a fish, a sea turtle, a pelican, an octopus, a shark, even a manatee! The incredible morphing illustrations will have children laughing as they learn about the real differences between these ocean animals and their respective classes.


Join Delfina the dolphin as she imagines that she becomes other sea animals: a fish, a sea turtle, a pelican, an octopus, a shark, even a manatee! The incredible morphing illustrations will have children laughing as they learn about the real differences between these ocean animals and their respective classes.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The colorful cover of this book places Delfina the Dolphin face to face with a fish. The inviting artwork pulls readers inside, where Delfina imagines what it would be like if she were a different creature. She imagines being a fish, turtle, shark, manatee, bird, and an octopus. The text presents a ton of interesting facts about these creatures, and the author cleverly makes comparisons between the characteristics of dolphins and the others. How they breathe, smell, and keep warm are but a few of the comparisons made. Bright, realistic illustrations add flavor. In one, a cut-away view of Delfina's skeletal make-up has extra appeal. The lesson that it is fun and okay to use imaginations comes across well. Back matter consists of extra dolphin facts and an activity that allows for creating dolphin adaptations. More information about the publisher's books and links can be found at www.SylvanDellPublishing.com. The all-encompassing format allows teachers and librarians to use this book for a variety of classroom lessons. The text is a fun read, engaging, and well structured. Readers can pick it up, crack open the cover, and enjoy. 2006, Sylvan Dell Publishing, Ages 4 to 8.
—Nancy Garhan Attebury
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-A bottlenose dolphin wonders what being a different animal would be like. This conceit is used to teach facts about other creatures; for example, if Delfina were a fish, she'd spend her time entirely underwater and not have to come to the surface to breathe. When she wonders what it would be like to be a sea turtle, she has a turtle shell; when she wonders about manatees, she eats plants. However, when she imagines being a bird, she is almost unrecognizable; some children will have trouble finding her on the page, and the bird is not identified as a pelican. The colored-pencil illustrations are muted and sometimes confusing; Delfina swims by icebergs on one page and in a reef on another. The story presents only minimal facts about dolphins, never even mentioning that they are mammals, and the text is simply not interesting enough to read aloud. Back matter includes more facts and a reproducible "Dolphin Adaptation Craft." For a story about dolphins, try Lambert Davis's Swimming with Dolphins (Scholastic, 2004). For facts, there are plenty of easy choices, including Allan Fowler's Friendly Dolphins (Children's Press, 1997).-Susan Oliver, Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library System, FL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Sylvan Dell Publishing
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.50(d)
AD730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Loran Wlodarski (Felina's New Home, Fall Spring 2010, and If a Dolphin Were a Fish) is a science writer for SeaWorld and has written six books for them in addition to his many normal daily responsibilities. He has been published in sources such as Grolier's Encyclopedia for Children and The Marine Mammal Encyclopedia. In addition, he has served as a scientific consultant for "Ask Magazine", Random House Books, Animal Planet, Ripley's Believe It Or Not, and Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Loran has raised animals his entire life. One of his early jobs at SeaWorld's Education Department was to raise some of their animals - newly hatched sharks, macaws, turtles, tropical fish, and iguanas. Loran lives with his wife and child in Florida.

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If A Dolphin Were A Fish 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
ACS_Book_Blogger More than 1 year ago
 Delfina is a dolphin who wonders what it might be like to be another animal. The reader learns about other animals and how they live compared to Delfina, the dolphin. The illustrations are wonderful and help to keep the reader engaged. They flow (like water) with a gentle artistry and the use of watercolors is beautifully executed. This is a beautifully written story - simply stated but engaging and educational. I recommend this book to everyone especially elementary children.  There is a section in the back called "For Creative Minds". This is an educational section for further learning. DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by Arbordale Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer. No compensation was received for this review.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
The best educational children's books effortlessly impart information into the young readers' minds in an almost magical way, where the mere act of reading the book is so pleasurable that they don't realize they're learning as they're reading. If a Dolphin Were a Fish is one of those magical-educational books. Loran Wlodarski introduces Defina, a dolphin wondering what it would be like to be other sea creatures, such as a fish, a sea turtle, a shark, or an octopus. "If a dolphin were a fish, Delfina could spend all of her time underwater," reads a page early in the book. Laurie Allen Klein's illustrations on these fantasy pages quite ingeniously morph two animals, in this case the fish and the dolphin, in a way that captures the imagination as well as amuses young readers. (Even my 14-year-old son's reaction to the book was a succinct yet apt, "Cool pictures.") The author then takes the opportunity to inform readers on the differences between dolphins and the animal in question. "But a dolphin is not a fish," reads the next page. "A fish uses gills to breathe underwater. Delfina comes to the water's surface to breathe air through a blowhole on top of her head. Instead of gills, a dolphin breathes air with a pair of lungs." In this clever back-and-forth fashion, readers learn about dolphin reproduction, senses, diet, physiology and skeletal system. The knowledge in If a Dolphin Were a Fish comes from a good source. Wlodarski is a science writer for the Education Department of SeaWorld Orlando in addition to having worked as a scientific consultant for a number of publications and TV shows. Additionally, the educators at SeaWorld and the South Carolina Aquarium further corroborated the facts in this book. And the learning in If a Dolphin Were a Fish continues after the story has concluded. The last few pages of the book, entitled "For Creative Minds," provide a mélange of facts about dolphins, such as how to tell the difference between a dolphin and a porpoise, characteristics of a mammal, and how echolocation works, in addition to a coloring/craft page. Readers can find even more information about dolphins at the publisher's website SylvanDellPublishing.com, which provides reading comprehension questions, quizzes, and an interesting variety of learning activities across the curriculum. Though this book is intended for children ages three to seven years old, surely parents and educators could use If a Dolphin Were a Fish as a jumping off point for more advanced learning in older children as well. Quill says: Children certainly will learn from - and love - this story about a curious dolphin named Delfina.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book a fast favorite! Any opportunity to get kids to learn and enjoy a good story has my vote. I absolutely loved this book and the illustrations are very cool. I recommend this book to any teachers or parents. Get kids interested in science!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Delfina the Dolphin observes the characteristics of her animal friends and imagines what it would be like to look and act like them. Beautifully illustrated and full of informaiton, this book allows the reader to observe the differences among animals in an engaging and easy to understand format. Reminiscent of the classic The Runaway Bunny, the book comes to closure with a positive acceptance of who Delphina really is. The additional features at the back of the book allow a child to explore further facts about dolphins and even cut out and manipulate the various animal features.This is a delightful book that provides information in a painless way through easy-to-understand text and highly detailed illustrations.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of my current favorites! I've read it to my friend's children when they come to visit and also use it for educational story time at the nature center where I work. The whimsical pictures really allow you to discover the wonders of many different animals while learning what makes dolphins special and unique!As an expectant mother I can't wait to make this story a night-time ritual in my home!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this book and fell in love with it. The colored pencil illustrations are so beautiful and imaginative and the text is warm and educational. This book is great for Kindergarten through 3rd grade children and anybody how loves a beautiful book.