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Children's Fiction General

Dolphin SOS

by (author) Slavia Miki & Roy Miki

illustrated by Julie Flett

Tradewind Books
Initial publish date
Oct 2014
General, Marine Life, Survival Stories
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2014
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 8
  • Grade: 1 to 3
  • Reading age: 6 to 8


Based on true events, Dolphin SOS recounts the story of three dolphins trapped in an icecovered cove off the coast of Newfoundland. After the government fails to provide assistance, local children take matters into their owns hands in order to save the distressed dolphins.

About the authors

Slavia Miki co-wrote Dolphin SOS with her husband, Roy. She had a career in primary education in Vancouver schools before putting her hand to writing. She lives in Vancouver.


Slavia Miki's profile page

Roy Miki
Roy Miki is a writer, poet, and critic who has taught and written about the work of bpNichol for many years. He was the editor of Pacific Windows: Collected Poems of Roy K. Kiyooka which won the 1997 Poetry Award from the Association of Asian American Studies. His major bibliographic study, A Record of Writing: An Annotated and Illustrated Bibliography of George Bowering, won the Gabriel Roy award from the Association for Canadian and Quebec Literatures as the best book on Canadian Literature for 1991. Miki is also the editor of This Is My Own: Letters to Wes and Other Writings on Japanese Canadians (1985); Tracing the Paths: Reading‚ Writing The Martyrology (1988); co-editor with Cassandra Kobayashi of Justice in Our Time: The Japanese Canadian Redress Settlement, and Meanwhile: The Critical Writings of bpNichol.

Cassandra Kobayashi
Cassandra Kobayashi helped shape the grass-roots community movement in Vancouver to seek redress for the forced removal, internment, and abrogation of the rights of Canadians of Japanese ancestry. She served on the national Redress Committee that negotiated the historic 1988 settlement with the Government of Canada. The struggle for redress is documented in her book, Justice in Our Time: The Japanese Canadian Redress Settlement, co-authored with Roy Miki.

Roy Miki's profile page

Julie Flett is an award-winning Cree-Metis author, illustrator and artist. She has received many awards, including the 2016 American Indian Library Association Award for Best Picture Book for Little You, written by Richard Van Camp (Orca Books), and the Canadian Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Award in 2015 for Dolphins SOS, written by Roy Miki (Tradewind Books) and in 2017 for My Heart Fills with Happiness, written by Monique Gray Smith (Orca Books), and was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature for her book Owls See Clearly at Night (Lii Yiiboo Nayaapiwak lii Swer): A Michif Alphabet (L’alphabet di Michif). Her own Wild Berries (Simply Read Books) was chosen as Canada’s First Nation Communities Read title selection for 2014-2015.


Julie Flett's profile page


  • Nominated, Surrey Schools' Picture Book of the Year
  • Winner, BC and Yukon Book Prizes - Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize
  • Short-listed, Alcuin Book Design Awards
  • Runner-up, Canadian Library Association (CLA) Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award
  • Winner, BC and Yukon Book Prizes - Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize
  • Runner-up, Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC) Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
  • Commended, Bank Street College of Education Children's Book Committee Best Children's Books of the Year
  • Commended, Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award (SONWA) - Children, Notable book

Editorial Reviews

"A dramatic dolphin rescue tale told by a young eyewitness named Nicole...Based on an actual incident in Newfoundland in 2009, this life-and-death story will resonate with readers as much as it did with the western Canadian writers and illustrator who gave it a new life...Nicole’s storytelling is straightforward. The spare text is set in a sea of whites and grays, a stark reminder of this moving rescue’s chilly setting. Flett’s equally spare illustrations show stylized figures. Spots of color break up the black-and-white patterns in these digitally combined collages. Notes about white-beaked dolphins and the actual incident are appended. Distress gives way to relief in this you-are-there tale for young readers and listeners who enjoy real-life animal encounters."

Kirkus Reviews

"A beautiful book...It is a story of compassion, endurance, and a special brief moment when humans and animals connect. Everything about this book is done with elegant simplicity...Flett’s art work is exquisite, using mainly black and white to portray the landscape with a bit of colour...Highly recommended for both school and public libraries...The story can be shared at story time and also with individual readers. It could be included in lesson plans concern ing marine wildlife and ocean stewardship."

Resource Links

"Worded clearly and hauntingly, the drama that plays out in the water and in the hearts of the people will pull at heart strings. Striking, strong black, white, and gray-toned watercolor and collage art portrays the cold climate that the dolphins and rescuers endured. Little color is used except on Aaron, who stands out in his red survival suit. The happy ending will delight children after they witness how these animals were almost lost to the elements."

School Library Journal

"We share Nicole’s concern, empathy with the dolphins, and satisfaction at the end. Flett presents flat patches of black and grays on white for the stark icy winter landscape, plus patterns on walls and clothing interspersed. Touches of other colors, such as the red of Aaron’s wet suit, stand out in contrast."

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