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Summary: Uncle Max invites Riley to join Aunt Martha and cousin Alice on their trip to Moorea, an island in the South Pacific. While Dr. Poole, the scientist in residence, was giving them a tour, the group discovered a pod of spinner dolphins trapped in a lagoon. Now it's up to everyone to come up with a plan to to help the dolphins in a safe, humane way. This is a self-contained story about studying dophins in the South Pacific.
Type of Reading: Anytime reading, family reading, read aloud book, interactive reading
Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 10; read yourself: 9 to 12
Interest Level: 5 to 9
Reading Level: 4.6
Age of Child: Read with 6½-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter pulled this from the shelf "to see what Riley's up to." She listened to the story, but was particularly fascinated with how the authors created the image using pictures and drawings. She wasn't sure some of the fish were "real" because they were drawn, not photographs. She also spent a lot of time trying to identify the dolphin named Shark Bite in the pictures.
Adult Reader Reaction: This was a surprise. It is as informative as all of the other Riley books, but the story has more leaps, both in time and information. For example, normally you have some sense of how long (and by what kinds of transportation) Riley got from home to the place their visiting. We were convinced there was a page missing between 1 and 2.
Pros: Kids will be entertained with photos and animal facts when Riley takes them to the South Pacific.
Cons: The leaps, combined with text boxes that don't have context on the page (like the one about black pearls), made this a choppier adventure than other titles in this series.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. There is a lot to learn in Riley books, and kids can explore pages at random to focus on what interests them.
Educational Themes: The Adventures of Riley series has wonderful information that covers all aspects of science, expanding learning well beyond what they hear about in school. The trip to Moorea offers information about marine life, animal habitat, animal conservation, geology, botany, and water safety.
Notes: Winner: National Parenting Publications Award, Best Books Award Winner (USABookNews.com). Flesch-Kincaid reading level 4.6
Literary Categories: fiction - nature, science, geography, travel, adventure, series book
Date(s) Reviewed: May 2008
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