Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure
By: Joanne C. Hillhouse
Illustrated by: Danielle Boodoo-Fortune
Publisher: CaribbeanReads Publishing
Publication Date: November 2017
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Dolphin the Arctic seal is a playful, adorable seal who easily gets distracted and "day-dreamy." Thanks to his wandering mind, he's about to go on a very big adventure, and young readers will love following along to see what happens.
Dolphin has an odd name, considering he's a seal, not a dolphin. His friends call him Dolphin because of "...his funny looking nose," but his Nema tells him it's really quite beautiful, just like a bottlenose dolphin. Nema always knows what to say to make Dolphin feel special. She has also traveled further than any other seal and enjoys telling Dolphin tales of all the wonderful sea animals she has met. The Arctic seal loves to imagine those amazing animals as they swim and dance in the water.
The cute little Arctic seal also loves to play with his friends, and they frequently go swimming and exploring through the ocean. Unfortunately, Dolphin isn't very fast so he is constantly getting left behind. Combine that with his tendency to daydream, and Dolphin is in for some trouble. One day, while Dolphin is lost in a daydream, a big, black ship, spitting out dark smoke, comes hurtling through the ocean, right up alongside Dolphin. By the time the little seal notices the ship, it's too late - it bumps him on his nose and he's knocked out. When Dolphin wakes up, he quickly realizes that he is far, far from home. How will he get back to Nema?
Right after Dolphin wakes up, he meets a new friend - Coral the jellyfish. They talk a little and then Dolphin realizes there's another problem with his situation - the water here is much too warm for an Arctic seal! Coral wants to help Dolphin, and he suggests that they go meet with Coral's Nana (who, Dolphin discovers, is a lot like his Nema). Dolphin explains his dilemma to Nana and hopes that the wise jellyfish will know what to do. Will Nana come up with a way to get Dolphin home to his colder ocean, his friends, and most importantly, to Nema?
Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure is an enjoyable read that is sure to captivate young readers. The author has chosen an interesting topic to write about, and one that many people may not be aware of - the work of environmentalists to help Arctic seals (and other sea animals). The story is loosely based on a real event from 2001 when a hooded seal who had wandered far from his home was returned to his native shores. Like that story, Lost! has a happy ending that will satisfy children. The illustrations are fantastic and use every color of the rainbow, with several pictures reminiscent of Peter Max artwork from the 60s. Finally, at the back of the book is a fun maze to "Help Dolphin Get Home To The Arctic," as well as a fact page on Arctic seals.
Quill says: Meet Dolphin the Arctic seal, fall in love with the adorable sea mammal, enjoy a fun adventure while also learning some fascinating facts about seals in Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure.