In 2005, Hurricane Katrina slammed into Gulfport, Mississippi. A forty-foot tidal wave destroyed the dolphin house at the Marine Life Oceanarium. What happened to the dolphins? Had the wave swept them into the Gulf of Mexico? The animals had grown up in captivity, so they couldn’t feed or protect themselves in the wild. If they even survived, how could they be rescued?
“Eight Dolphins of Katrina” is illustrated by the award-winning Yan Nascimbene. His extraordinary art has appeared on over 300 book covers and in more than 60 books. “Eight Dolphins of Katrina” includes photographs of the the actual event and true stories about dolphins rescuing people and mammals throughout history. It was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and is available in hardcover and paperback.
One of the four “Best (children’s) Books: Nonfiction,”
August, 2013, Amazon.com
“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
“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.” BOOKLIST
“Animal lovers will empathize as they follow the trainers’ worries and ultimate elation. A heartening, real-life rescue story.” SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
“ The pool was empty except for the mangled rafters and chunks of roof. Tim and Dr. Solangi stared at the small puddles on the bottom. Then they gazed at the peaceful waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
“Maybe the dolphins survived,” Dr. Solangi said. Tim thought, How could they live through a roof falling onto their heads—or the force of a forty-foot tidal wave?
“They could be out there,” Dr. Solangi continued, “waiting for us. Tim, how much time do we have?”
A dolphin head popped out of the water. It was covered with scratches.
“Elijah?” Tim gasped. A second head appeared. Marci pointed and almost fell out of the boat.
“Jill! Everyone, it’s Jill!”
“Tamra! Oh, Tamra!”
Someone asked, “Where’s Jackie?” Tim felt the other trainers tun toward him. He cleared his throat. Poor Jackie, he thought. She was just too old. His eyes filled with tears.
Copyright © 2021 Janet Wyman Coleman - All Rights Reserved.