A pregnant manatee’s painful encounter with its species’ chief predator—people in a motorboat—sparks a successful animal-rescue effort in Arnosky’s latest foray into natural history. In illustrations done with pale, translucent washes of color, young readers can follow workers as they carefully hoist the injured animal out of the water, transport her to a holding pen until the (bloodless but deep and plainly visible) propeller slashes across her back start to heal, then release her and her newborn baby back into the wild. The gentle giants’ behavior is never anthropomorphic here, though a closing claim that boaters from now on will heed a newly posted warning sign (“Slow Down! Manatees”) may be a touch idealistic. An afterword goes into greater depth on the dangers that boats, even those piloted by very careful captains, pose to manatees, and on the real account that inspired this tale. Grades 1-3. --John Peters
About the Author
Jim Arnosky is well known for his "keen observations of nature and his fine artistic talent" (School Library Journal). He has written and illustrated many children’s books. Otters Under Water
was called "first-rate natural history for the youngest" by Kirkus Reviews (pointer review), and School Library Journal wrote that in it "each of his creatures exhibits a distinct individualism." Every Autumn Comes the Bear
was called "vibrant, translucent and strikingly composed" by Publishers Weekly, and Booklist wrote "Arnosky's radiant pictures have a dazzling sense of pattern and composition . . . and a sense of mystery. A beautiful, imaginative, and informative approach." School Library Journal said of Rabbits & Raindrops
, “Perfect for story-time or lap-time reading, this book will give children a feeling of security and contentment.”
Jim Arnosky and his family live on a twenty-acre farm in Vermont.
copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.