When I realised today’s NATO Alphabet word was Echo I became obsessed with echolocation and talking about dolphins.  I don’t really know why, but it did also give me the chance to read and review another book for the usual Saturday feature.

Dolphins are just one of the family of toothed whales that use echolocation for navigation and to identify and catch their food.

toothed whale sound production

They make high frequency clicking sounds, emanating from a body called the melon at the front of the forehead, and receive the return signals in receptors on either side of their jaw, thus receiving them in stereo, enabling them to focus.

Echolocation is also used by most bats, who receive the sounds back in their large (and very delicate) ears.

Book Review:

The Girl who Dreamt of Dolphins by James Carmody

This is the first in the Dolphin Child series, and I got it free from Smashwords just over two years ago, during Read an EBook Week.  After that the book seemed to disappear, which was a shame.  It’s now available again on Smashwords, along with the others in the series, Dolphin Child, and Midnight Dolphin (also free).

Lucy dreams of dolphins.  She can’t remember a time when she didn’t.  Her father wouldn’t understand, and since her mother ‘disappeared’ he doesn’t pay much attention to her anyway – often forgetting to collect her from school, among other things.  Despite this, he doesn’t want help from her aunt, who would be only too pleased to help out, and give them a holiday in Cornwall.  Dad wants to keep Lucy away from Cornwall at all costs – in case she suffers the same problem as her mother.

In fact, Lucy doesn’t need to live in Cornwall to have a very close relationship with a dolphin named Spirit.  She finds herself more and more involved in his adventures.  Then danger befalls him, and he sees her helping to direct him to safety.  What is this connection, and how dangerous can it be – for Lucy and for Spirit?

This is a beautifully told tale suitable for older middle grades and possibly to be read to younger children ready for natural history lessons.  Lucy’s story is interspersed with chapters focusing on life in the sea with Spirit and his friends, until it all comes together in an exciting climax.  It’s a good story even if you’ve read a lot of dolphin tales, and the idea of communing with other animals, especially dolphins, is attractive to many youngsters – and oldsters like me!

The Girl Who Dreamt of Dolphins by James Carmody

There are also some nice descriptions of echolocation in action in Spirit’s parts of the book!

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Echo & The Girl Who Dreamt of Dolphins
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17 thoughts on “Echo & The Girl Who Dreamt of Dolphins

  • 5 April, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Dolphins have always fascinated me so I loved this post!

    • 5 April, 2014 at 6:17 pm

      It’s called sonar detection in lots of books on dolphins, but it is the same process – just underwater. 🙂

      We have bats here too – we don’t generally get dolphins on the part of the coast I’m near – although we do have seals. Not quite as good, but lovely to see them!

    • 6 April, 2014 at 11:51 am

      Good question. Maybe I’ll write some thoughts on that next month!

  • 5 April, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Stopping by on the 5th day of the #atozchallenge while looking for fellow writers. Congratulations on your blog. I know you are going to make new blogging friends this month because it is a great looking presentation an interesting content. I’m writing about gardening and related topics and having a wonderful time. If you have time or interest, come and visit.

    • 6 April, 2014 at 11:52 am

      Five days gone already – only 25 to go! I like gardening – I’ll be right over!

    • 6 April, 2014 at 11:52 am

      Thanks, Stephanie – look forward to seeing your blog 🙂

  • 7 April, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Not sure what it is, but Dolphins are magical creatures. 🙂

    • 7 April, 2014 at 11:04 am

      I know what you mean. Maybe it’s because we know they’re wise.

  • 10 April, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Dolphins are amazing creatures. I’ve only seen them at places like Sea World, but it’d be cool to see some in the wild. Not sure I’d like to get close up, but to see one in the ocean would be awesome.

    • 21 April, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      I love seeing any of the sea mammals at sea, but yes, specially dolphins as they aren’t common in places I mostly go to. Seals are, and it’s still a thrill to see them!

  • 21 April, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Sounds like a fun book Jemima. And I agree there is a certain charm to Dolphins as sea creatures that make us want to bond with them ! Thanks for sharing the book review on Kidlit Bloghop.
    -Reshama @ Stackingbooks

    • 21 April, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      It’s a good book for MG I think, Reshama – and with more in the series out, I think they could become popular.

  • 27 April, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    You continue to impress me, Jemima. Not only are you doing the A-Z, but you came up with Echolocation! And then you found this delightful series. Thanks for sharing & for hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop. Cheryl

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