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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Spinner is a lively, playful young dolphin. There are lots of things he loves to do and he’s not afraid to try something new and even more adventurous. Playing far from his pod – his family and friends – Spinner finds freedom, but he also discovers a group of children climbing the rocks in the water. He can see that the rocks are slippery and dangerous. He worries about their safety. While trying to warn them of the dangers, Spinner does all kinds of acrobatic stunts. The children think he’s putting on a show; they don’t understand that Spinner is trying to communicate with them. Frustrated at his inability to warn them away from the rocks, he decides to head back to his pod. Only, that’s when he hears the screams. One of the children has fallen into the water and with the rough waves, the child is quickly sucked under. Can Spinner rescue the child? Should he try?
L.D. Murray’s early chapter book, Spinner the Amazing Dolphin: Sea Rescuer, is the first book in the Amazing Dolphin series. The plot is a simple story with two main threads: one which follows young children as they seek adventure on the waterfront and the other one which involves an amazing dolphin, Spinner, whose zest for life is only overpowered by the need to help others. The author provides interesting and informative background that teaches young readers about dolphins; the author also presents how their fun and games quickly turn into a potentially deadly adventure. When the two stories converge, the drama intensifies and readers will instantly start cheering on the brave, feisty, and fun-loving dolphin as he swims in to save the day. The characters are well developed with brief character sketches at the beginning of the book to help readers identify with each character. The setting is clear and there is a detailed map at the beginning that illustrates the area where Spinner plays, where the children play, and where they all interact. I love the illustrations: bright, bold, and very realistic.