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If a Dolphin Were a Fish Paperback – March 10, 2007

7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

This imaginative collaboration of text and art is a treasure. A thought-provoking, informative, and unusual book, If a Dolphin Were a Fish is outstanding for family reading. --National Center for the Study of Children's Literature

This is a VERY CLEVER book. The illustrations are wonderful, clever, and fun to look at on their own. What makes it particularly fun is that it reads like a story, but it throws LOTS of really good facts at you, too. This is an engaging picture book that will get kids involved in the what-ifs and discerning information about life in the ocean. --The Reading Tub

In addition to having good science content and an emphasis on animal adaptations, the book also sends readers the message that it's best to be yourself instead of trying to imitate others. --NSTA Recommends
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing (March 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934359033
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934359037
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.6 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,624,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Laurie Hays on December 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If a Dolphin Were a Fish is an enchanting book about a dolphin who imagines what it would be like to be other creatures. The artwork is beautiful, and the imaginative way that other animals' features are incorporated into Delphina's body is creative and delightful.

Art teachers, elementary classroom teachers, and others who work with children will find this an excellent resource. Comparing and contrasting the various animals' features and habitats, predicting which choice Delphina will make next, deciding whether she'll eventually be happy with her own status...are just a few of the thinking/discussion topics that this book presents. I love this book, and recommend it highly for children of all ages!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kerstin A. on June 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
My kids loved this book. Can't go wrong. I bought a second copy for the school library so that more kids can enjoy this book.

Educational story and beautiful pictures at the same time.

We also enjoyed the sections in the back of the book that tell you more details about dolphins and a section on how to trace the dolphin and his different disguises.

Great book - perfect for beginning readers as well.
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Format: Hardcover
Delfina is a bottlenose dolphin. She swims through the pages of this beautifully illustrated book, imagining what it would be like to be something other than a dolphin. If she were a fish for instance, she could spend all of her time underwater. Unlike fish that have gills, Delfina has a full set of lungs and breaths through a blowhole on top of her head.

Considering the life of a sea turtle does not appeal to her at all. Slowly lumbering along the beach to lay hundreds of eggs does not sound like a lot of fun. She much prefers to give birth to her calf underwater. She discards the idea of being a shark and being a manatee does not thrill her. The thought of being a bird covered in feathers is too funny to even consider.

Being a boneless octopus is not to her liking either. A dolphin has a skeleton in its body made up of hard bones. Delfina has a backbone, skull and rib bones much like humans. She has five fingers inside of her front flippers that are similar to the bones in our hands. After considering all these alternatives, Delfina decides she likes who she is and has no desire to be anything else. Ask your child if he/she has ever thought of being someone else. This would be an excellent time to point out all of your child's unique attributes and celebrate who they are.
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Format: Hardcover
Here is a book about a very special dolphin, Delfina, who often wonders what it would be like to be a different animal. This clever story takes the reader through many different possibilities, including fish, sea turtle, shark, manatee, bird, and octopus. With each animal Delfina could be, the author explains why Delfina is not that animal and along the way, aided by the incredible "morphing" illustrations of artist Laurie Allen Klein, the reader learns exactly what makes Delfina a dolphin.

An especially helpful section in the back of the book, "For Creative Minds" gives the reader even more information about dolphins and includes fun facts and, on the final page, a "Dolphin Adaption Craft" that will be a hit with any young dolphin fan.

This book is sure to be a favorite of all young dolphin lovers. It would also be useful as part of an instructional unit on dolphins and/or sea animals.
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