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Bri Meets Books

Children's and YA literature reviews.

As a child, I was nuts for dolphins.  I originally went to college for a degree in Psychology so I’d be able to become an animal behaviorist, and study dolphins. I even memorized the scientific names of various whales and dolphins.
Today I’ve got a review of a great new children’s nature book about a little dolphin with an incredible spirit, and the generous people who helped her recover from a terrible injury.
From the authors of Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship,  and Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated the World comes Winter’s Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned to Swim Again.
Winter the bottle-nose dolphin was entangled in a crab trap off the east coast of Florida, and was thankfully rescued by a concerned fisherman.

Her tail had become severely injured by the net, and needed medical attention soon.  Volunteers at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium were able to get the baby dolphin to eat, and gradually she grew healthier, but her tail eventually fell off.
The clever dolphin learned how to swim her tail’s stump by moving her body side-to-side, similar to that of a fish.  The staff at the aquarium was impressed by her ingenuity and determination.  They eventually introduced her to another rescued dolphin.  Soon, Winter began attracting media attention, including The Today Show and local radio programs.  An animal lover, Kevin Carroll, heard about Winter on the radio and wanted to help.  He created prostheses for humans, and thought he might be able to do the same for Winter. He and others developed a special prosthesis for Winter, one that would work in the water, and function like a real tail.   Kevin Caroll’s design and formation of a special gel to ease any of Winter’s discomfort helps others, such as Iraq war veterans who have lost limbs.  Winter’s courage and unwavering spirit helps inspire others who face challenges.
Winter’s Tail is a great story for kids and adults.  It’s an extraordinary tale of survival, and Winter will definitely touch your heart. The story flows well, and the enclosed photographs chronicle Winter’s journey from her discovery to her life today. It’s a really informative title with a lot of information conveyed in a pleasing format,  with such a good amount of text and pictures, the reader is immediately drawn into Winter’s story. I especially enjoyed the pictures of Winter’s birthday party, Winter with her trainers, and the crowds that she draws.
The back pages include information about her new home, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium,  dolphins, how dolphins are “trained,” and Kevin Carroll.
Would you like to get your own copy of Winter’s Tail?  Scholastic has an opportunity for you to win a Winter’s Tail prize pack.
The winner will receive the following: 
* Dolphin Plush
* Dolphin Key Chain
* Winter’s Tail video game for Nintendo DS
* Copy of Winter’s Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned to Swim Again Book 
Retail value: $81.99 

One commenter will win.
Per the sponsor’s rules, The Winter’s Tail contest is open to U.S. addresses only.  International readers may enter, provided they can have a friend in the US receive the package for them.

Sweepstakes begins September 28, 2009 and will run for 3 weeks, closing October 12, 2009 at 12:00 AM (Central).  Winner will be chosen using

Leave your email address in the comments.  Additional entries:

+ 1 for Tweeting  this contest/review (please include your @twitter name)

My thanks to Scholastic and Big Honcho Media for inviting me to participate in this promotion.

There’s a wealth of material on Winter for teachers and parents who’d like to use the book in a curriculum.
View the book trailer:

Additional links:
There will be a live webcast about Winter on October 7, 1:00-1:45 ET at Scholastic
Copy for review provided by the publisher.
Title: Winter’s Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned How to Swim Again
Author: Julianna Hatkoff, Isabella Hatkoff, and Craig Hatkoff
Date: October 1, 2009
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 40

Format: Hardback


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