BOOKS: Dreams of Dolphins Dancing
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1997:
by Joan Bourque
(POB 1112, Cornville,
AZ 86325), 1997.
34 pages, hardcover,
$15.95. Workbook $3.95.
“This story was
inspired by a real encounter
with a lone wild dolphin named
Honey,” the last page tells us.
“Honey still lives peacefully in
the waters around Lighthouse
Reef Resort, an atoll of the
coast of Belize, in Central
America.” Honey teaches
young Alyssa Bourque all
about the creatures of the coastal waters. Most of the story is gently
instructional, and Joan Bourque’s illustrations are fun yet biologically
The most interesting theme is sublimated: Alyssa is horrified
by a fisher’s boatload of corpses, but he reassures her that, “We only
take what you and the folks here on Lighthouse Reef can eat.” Honey
later hurries Alyssa away from a fishing vessel that is killing “hundreds
of fish and dolphins,” who are “all in a mass and hanging motionless.”
Wishing it were a dream, Alyssa wakes to rage at her mother, “How can
fishermen be so mean? They take all the fish away from their homes.
Even the ones they don’t need!”
Her mother “explained that local fishermen took only what they
could eat or sell at the market and reminded her of the kind gentleman
they’d met at the shore.”
We hope the subtly ambiguous grammar is intentional