Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dolphins in the Navy by Meish Goldish

Dolphins in the Navy 
By Meish Goldish
(America’s animal soldiers)
Bearport Publishing. 2012
ISBN: 9781617724510
(Grades 1-6)
Reviewer obtained a copy of this book from the publisher.

America's Animal Soldiers is a new series for 2012 by Bearport Publishing. The aim of the series is to highlight the animals that help the military. There are four titles in the series that include dolphins and sea lions that hunt for deadly sea mines, to dogs that are trained to sniff out bombs. 

I reviewed Dolphins in the Navy by Meish Goldish, which looks at the Marine Mammal Program that trains dolphins to locate sea mines. The reason dolphins are highly prized, along with sea lions, “is their ability of finding things in the water” using echolocation. Dolphins also help the Navy locate possible terrorists who are swimming in the water. We are told that the dolphins in the Navy receive excellent care to insure they are healthy and happy. 

Each page includes a color photograph that corresponds to the text.  Additional facts are written on dog tags that are interspersed throughout the chapters. The 24 pages are aimed at students in grades 1-6. A useful addition to military sections.

Note: Briefly mentioned are the negative feelings by some towards the Marine Mammal Program. However, the book clearly  states that the Navy never places the mammals in risky situations. According to the author dolphins that work for the Marine Mammal Program are in less danger from their work than those that live in the wild – which may be killed and eaten by sharks or fed unsafe food by people.” Goldish further claims that, So far, no animal in the Marine Mammal Program has ever been injured or killed on the job.” 

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