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Manatee Rescue
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Manatee Rescue
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Zoologist Nicola Davies merges a heart-pounding adventure with a conservation message triggered by a life-changing—and mind-changing—encounter.Manuela had imagined that killing a manatee...
Zoologist Nicola Davies merges a heart-pounding adventure with a conservation message triggered by a life-changing—and mind-changing—encounter.Manuela had imagined that killing a manatee...
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Description-

  • Zoologist Nicola Davies merges a heart-pounding adventure with a conservation message triggered by a life-changing—and mind-changing—encounter.

    Manuela had imagined that killing a manatee would be like killing a very big fish, just more exciting. But when her father successfully harpoons one, leaving its baby orphaned, she finds that her feelings have changed. She vows to rescue the baby manatee and return it to the river. But she soon realizes what an enormous task she's taken on. Will she be able to save the baby manatee—and protect him from being hunted in the future, too?

 

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About the Author-

  • "I was very small when I saw my first dolphin," says zoologist Nicola Davies, recalling a seminal visit with her father to a dolphin show at the zoo. Enchanted at the sight of what she called the "big fish" jumping so high and swimming so fast, she determined right then that she would meet the amazing creatures again "in the wild, where they belonged." And indeed she did—as part of a pair of scientific expeditions, one to Newfoundland at the age of eighteen and another to the Indian Ocean a year later. In Wild About Dolphins, Nicola Davies describes her voyages in a firsthand account filled with fascinating facts and captivating photographs of seven species of dolphins in action.

    Nicola Davies's seemingly boundless enthusiasm for studying animals of all kinds has led her around the world—and fortunately for young readers, she is just as excited about sharing her interests through picture books. Another of the zoologist's offering puts a decidedly quirky twist on her years of experience: Poop: A Natural History of the Unmentionable is a fun, fact-filled guide to the fascinating world of poop across species. "As a zoologist, you are never far from poop!" the writer explains. "I've baked goose poop in an oven with my dinner, looked at bat poop under the microscope, and had my T-shirt stained pink with blue-whale poop. I was obviously fated to write this book."

    The exceptional combination of Nicola Davies's zoological expertise and her first-rate children's writing is apparent in her remarkable catalog of award-winning titles. Her first book with Candlewick Press, Big Blue Whale, was hailed by American Bookseller as an "artfully composed study" offering "language exactly appropriate for four- to seven-year-olds and precisely the right amount of information." In One Tiny Turtle, Nicola Davies's clear, compelling narrative follows the life of the rarely seen loggerhead turtle, which swims the oceans for thirty years and for thousands of miles in search of food, only to return, uncannily, to lay her eggs on the very beach where she was born. The author's next book, Bat Loves the Night, is a tenderly written ode to a much-misunderstood flying mammal, the pipistrelle bat. And Surprising Sharks—winner of a Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor—contains unexpected facts about another one of the planet's most infamous animals.

    When she is not off on scientific expeditions, Nicola Davies lives in a cottage in Somerset, England, where she is lucky enough to have pipistrelle bats nesting in her roof.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    September 1, 2015

    Gr 2-4-Manuela and her father spend much of their days catching fish on the Amazon. When they harpoon an adult manatee (a prized but illegal practice), Manuela and her father find a baby manatee beside their kill. Manuela's father plans to sell the calf, but Manuela, whose mother died when she was a baby, plans a rescue instead. With the help of her courageous cousin, her fearless grandmother, and eventually the entire community, Manuela mothers the manatee and educates the village so the animals are enjoyed not for their meat but for their beauty and gentility. Davies is a zoologist, whose knowledge comes through; she thoughtfully weaves information about the natural world into moments of action and bravery. This book is based on the true story of an orphaned manatee and the efforts of an organization (Natutama) to save the Amazonian creature. Davies includes many Native words with footnotes explaining their definitions. Wright's periodic, bold-line illustrations add an authentic folksy feel to the narrative. VERDICT This is a good addition to chapter book collections and will be valuable for understanding animal conservation, familiarizing students with Amazonian cultures, and encouraging grassroots activism for tenacious kids.-Lindsay Persohn, University of South Florida, Tampa

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    October 1, 2015
    In a remote Amazon village, Manuela and her cousin Libia convince an entire village to cease manatee fishing after the two girls rescue, nurture, and release a manatee calf Manuela accidentally speared while hunting its mother. Watching a manatee die and holding the injured calf she calls Airuwe in her arms is enough to turn Manuela from aspiring manatee hunter to conservationist, but it takes much longer for her to fulfill the silent promise she made to preserve the baby. Raising an orphaned mammal is difficult enough, but there are also threats from both the human and the natural world: the unsavory Clink-Clink, who wants to sell it, and powerful rainy-season floods. Luckily, the girls have the support of their grandmother, a nurse with veterinary experience, and, after an intensive campaign, the community. The third-person narration distances readers a bit, but it allows Davies to weave in details about Amazonian culture and setting as well as the endangered manatees while maintaining gentle suspense. Libia, limping and stunted from a childhood illness, proves skillful in a canoe, and both girls are imaginative and resourceful. Each short chapter includes a grayscale illustration done with brush and pen. Words potentially unfamiliar to general readers are defined in footnotes. Previously published in England as Manatee Baby (2013), this appealing animal-survival adventure is based on a true episode described in an afterword. (Fiction. 8-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    December 15, 2015
    Grades 2-5 Manuela has always thought it would be exciting to successfully hunt and kill a manatee. But she changes her mind after she and her father, Silvio, go fishing along the Amazon and manage to harpoon a female manatee and capture her injured baby calf. In this compelling animal-rights adventure, Manuela takes pity on the orphaned manatee, and she and her cousin Libia spirit it away from Silvio before he can sell it. They find refuge with Granny Raffy, a nurse, and struggle to care for the baby manatee, now named Airuwe. But they face many dangers, including floods and a greedy local villager intent on buying Airuwe. Potentially unfamiliar words are defined in the footnotes, and the folk-art-inspired black-and-white drawings enhance the Amazonian setting and culture. Young readers will be inspired by this tale, which is based on a true story, and will identify with the characters' fight for animal conservation.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

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    Candlewick Press
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