Encantado: Pink Dolphin of the Amazon
With photos by Dianne Taylor-Snow
“Grade 3-7-A stimulating text and vibrant, full-color photographs entice readers on this trip down the Amazon to meet these freshwater rain-forest creatures. Written in second person and in a light, conversational tone, the narrative evokes a magical environment as readers accompany the author and a guide on a voyage to investigate these little-known animals. Different physically and behaviorally from the more common bottle-nosed variety, pink dolphins are hard to observe as they swim low and never leap out of the water. As the adventure proceeds, readers encounter all kinds of plant and animal life, meet a couple of scientists, and learn how observation leads to understanding. They see how children in this part of the world live, hear a folktale about an encantado, travel back through time to discover the animal’s ancient origins, and glimpse the future of the Amazon as the forests are destroyed. Spanish and Portuguese words and phrases are occasionally integrated into the text. Hand-drawn colorful maps and a time line illustrate habitat and history, and there are a wealth of features at the back, including an annotated list for further reading, information on making a similar trip, statistics, odd facts, and unsolved mysteries. The author’s sense of wonder at this spectacular environment and this unusual animal is infectious and makes for a nonfiction title that inspires as it informs.”
—School Library Journal, Susan Oliver, Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library System, FL, Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
“Gr. 5-8. Naturalist Montgomery traveled to South America to satisfy her curiosity about the mysterious pink dolphins called encantado, or ‘enchanted.’ She met with locals and experts to gather information, and she made several valiant efforts to locate the encantado herself. In the end, however, the creatures remained elusive. (In fact, the only clear photos of an encantado are of a dolphin in a Pittsburgh zoo.) So, instead of a traditional animal study, children are treated to a captivating travelogue, complete with numerous color photos of the people and places that incorporates political, environmental, and zoological aspects of the region. The transition from topic to topic may be a challenge for some readers, and some will find Montgomery’s use of the second person odd (‘Your canoe is stuck in the treetops! Bet you didn’t think that would be a problem when you left the United States’). But children with a taste for adventure will enjoy this enthusiastic field trip to the rainforest and chance meetings with everything from cute monkeys to stinging black ants.”
—Randy Meyer for Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
“[Montgomery] will not only leave readers feeling as if they’d been to the Amazon and met one of its odder-looking residents, but well equipped to pursue a newly kindled interest in rainforest conservation.”
—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review