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Superswimmers book cover Super Swimmers: Whales, Dolphins, and Other Mammals of the Sea

Some of the ocean's best swimmers don't have gills or scales. They breathe air just like you. These marine mammals are specially adapted to life in the water. Some can swim fast and dive deep. Others are experts at long-distance travel. All are born knowing how to swim.

Meet aquatic animals--from whales and walruses to polar bears and dugongs--and discover how they survive in the world's oceans.

Super Swimmers has been translated into Korean, Sigonsa Company, Ltd.(ISBN 978-89-527-5543-8).

Prizes and Awards
  • California Collection(California Readers) 2009
  • Children's Projects

    Beautiful Baleen: How Baleen Helps Whales Get Food

    Gray whales, humpback whales, and other large whales do not have teeth. Instead, their mouths are filled with hundreds of long, hard plates called baleen. With this project you will learn how the hairy edges of the baleen help whales to catch tiny pieces of food to eat.

    You will need a dishpan, water, a large comb and about a half cup of uncooked rice. Put water in the dishpan until it is about half full. Pour in the rice. Dip the comb in the water and use it to scoop up pieces of rice. In the same way, the hairy edges of baleen are like a giant comb, or net, that catches krill and other tiny animals in the ocean.

    Related Books
  • A Killer Whale's World (Picture Window Books, 2006)
  • Baby Whale Rescue (Bridgewater Books, 1999)
  • Killer Whale (Morrow Junior Books, 1994)
  • Sea Lion (Morrow Junior Books, 1994)
  • Reviews
    Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2007

    Whales, dolphins and porpoises, seals, sea lions and walruses, sea otters, polar bears, manatees and dugongs are the marine animals described in this attractive offering. Wynne, a professional science illustrator, enlivens the clear, short descriptions of the different species and explanations of how they swim, dive, breathe, eat and survive in a very different medium, with engaging and well-labeled drawings. The palette of watery blues, grays, and occasional brownish-reds supports the subject well. The information is accurate, although not documented, and well-organized both for research and for browsing. Illustrations of some creatures who share the ocean environment decorate the verso, and a few freshwater swimmers are described at the end. A final page showing a group of children watching sea mammals from the bow of a boat connects the topic to the intended reader. There is also a short glossary. An appealing and useful purchase.

    Library Media Connection, October 2007

    In a fine match of text and illustration, this picture book describes the behavior of salt-water mammals--from manatees, dugongs, seals, walruses, otters, and polar bears to all manner of dolphins and whales. Wynne's appealing, accurate watercolors enliven a fact-filled, yet uncluttered text by veteran writer Caroline Arnold. The first half of the book compares the swimming behaviors of all the various sea mammals. The second half treats individual types, distinguishing baleen from toothed whales, demonstrating echolocation (how whales click to find their prey); whale breaching and lobtailing; comparing different seal species; showing how walruses use tusks and whiskers to move and eat; distinguishing between manatees and dugons; illustrating the air bubbles that insulate sea otters' fur; and showing how polar bears hunt ringed seals. No species is studied in depth, but primary classes will find this book an inviting intrduction to se life. Glossary. Recommended. Joan Kimball, Librarian

    EdDealer, April/May 2007

    With Super Swimmers written by Caroline Arnold and illustrated by Patricia J. Wynne, young readers will be fascinated by all the mammals that make the water their home. Some swim fast, some swim deep, and they all have amazing abilities that help them survive in harsh conditions surrounded by predators. From whales and dolphins to sea otters and polar bears, readers will learn how these many animals use their skills in the water.

    The book is full of facts about mammals of the sea. Sea otters have webbed hind feet and use their tails to steer. While most mammals have hair, many sea mammals have a layer of blubber to keep them warm in the icy deep oceans. All sea mammals breathe air just like humans; they have to breach the surface to catch a breath. Readers will learn these and many more interesting facts.