Dolphin SOS by Roy and Slavia Miki Book Review

Dolphin SOS by Roy and Slavia Miki
Illustrations by Juliet Flett
Publisher: Trade Wind Books
Release Date: October 1, 2014

Based on true events, Dolphin SOS tells the story of three dolphins who became trapped in an icy cove in Newfoundland. When the government refuses to help, the locals take matters into their own hands, breaking the ice with their hands and even jumping in the water (with a protective suit on) to keep one very tired dolphin afloat.

Base on a true story. Those words always give me a good amount of trepidation when going into a story. Because what I am hearing instead is--We have fictionalized a true story to the point where you will not be able to tell where truth and fiction intersect. As a result, you will either have to do your own research or we will handily provide backmatter that will detail the true events rather than including it in the actual book. I have spoken before about my mixed feelings regarding historical fiction, because although I love them and am okay with fictionalized accounts of things like the Civil War or Victorian England, I also have a hard time with them when they are presented as fact when there are many elements of the story that are fictions.

Based on story alone, this was a well-made one with beautiful illustrations and real pathos. It has everything that a good story needs, relatability, good pacing, and a satisfying ending. Anyone who has ever heard a dolphin crying would know how impossible it would be to ignore their call for help. If you were able to do something, wouldn't you? What I find interesting is that the author chose to use fictional characters for a story that happened in 2009. I am torn in regards to historical fiction, but this story lends itself so well to being non-fiction that I wasn't entirely sure why it would be fictionalized. Surely, one of these teens who performed the rescue is available for an interview? Thats said, this is a well-made story that will grasp the imaginations of little ones and I daresay, parents may be forced to watch more than a few dolphin videos afterward.