janet wyman Coleman

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina slammed into Mississippi. A forty-foot tidal wave washed over the Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport. When the trainers returned, they discovered that the dolphin house was destroyed and the dolphins were gone. Had the tidal wave carried them into the Gulf of Mexico? The animals had grown up in captivity, so they couldn’t feed or protect themselves in the wild.They had to be rescued!

EXCERPT, CLICK HEREDolphin_Excerpt.html

“Eight Dolphins of Katrina,” illustrated by Yan Nascimbene,

and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is available August, 2013.

Included are photographs of the actual event and true stories about dolphins rescuing people and other mammals throughout history. 


“A different story of courage and adventure plays out in the informative real-life account of "Eight Dolphins of Katrina: A True Tale of Survival" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 40 pages, $16.99). Here author Janet Wyman Coleman uses fast-paced dialogue to convey the drama of the loss and eventual rescue of eight captive dolphins washed into the Gulf of Mexico during the catastrophic 2005 hurricane.

Ms. Coleman chronicles events principally from the point of view of the dolphin's trainers, who understood the animals' characters well and who persisted, long after the dolphins must surely have perished, in trying to find them. Spare, dramatic watercolor-washed illustrations by Yan Nascimbene give a feeling of timelessness to a temporal event, while a photo sequence at the end shows 6- to 9-year-olds what the dolphins really looked like. ‘They say that a dog is man's best friend, but that's on land,’the author remarks. ‘In the water, it will always be the dolphin.’” Wall Street Journal

Chosen by Amazon.com as one of the four

“Best (children’s) Books: Nonfiction” of August, 2013.


  Illustrated with evocative watercolors reminiscent of Japanese woodblock prints, the 

  riveting story is followed by informational text about “man’s best friend” in the water,    

  from the evolution,characteristics, and mythology of dolphins to heroic accounts of

  their rescue of humans and other marine life, as well as threats to their existence.”


“Animal lovers will empathize as they follow the trainers’ worries and ultimate elation. A heartening, real-life rescue story.” School Library Journal