Encantado

Encantado

Encantado “Encantado: Pink Dolphin of the Amazon” by Sy Montgomery, photos by Dianne Taylor-Snow

Synopsis: Welcome to a forest filled with water. In the wet season, the swollen Amazon becomes a looking glass into another world, where pink dolphins swim like something from a dream. In Peru they are called bufeo colorado—the ruddy dolphin. Their color ranges from white to gray to a vivid pink. These astonishing mammals, actually river-dwelling whales, easily navigate their way through the complex, hazardous world of the Amazon rain forest. Encantado invites readers on the adventure of a lifetime as we travel into one of the world’s most lush and beautiful jungles in search of these magical creatures. Our guides include scientists and researchers as well as the local people, who have lived with the encantados—the enchanted ones—literally at their doorsteps for centuries. Our main guides are the dolphins themselves. They lead us into myth. They take us back in time to a prehistoric era. They alone can show us the depth of the Amazon’s beauty, diversity, and magic—and help us to keep our planet rich and whole.

*******

2 out of 5 stars

Let me first say, right up front, that I did not realize this was a book for young readers. This was one of my reasons for giving only two stars, but not my only reason.

I was really looking forward to reading this book. Pink dolphins of the Amazon! I am fascinated by most of the flora and fauna of that region and love learning about it. The pink dolphins are somewhat of a mystery. Not much is known about them and I was so looking forward to learning more about them.

The story is our author, Sy, and her journey into the Amazon. She meets amazing people who are generous enough to share their knowledge of the Amazon and the botos, the encantados, the elusive pink dolphins. There are so many legends about them, so many stories of them shape-shifting and walking on land.

I wanted to know why they live in certain rivers, how they hunt, where they breed and how they choose a mate. Do they mate for life or just for a breeding season? Is there a breeding season? Mostly, why are they pink? Why are they not all the same shade of pink?

I wanted facts. What I got was a beautifully detailed book about the author’s hunt for the pink dolphins and very little about the dolphins themselves. It’s her story, not the dolphin’s. The photos in the book are stunning and that definitely adds to the book, but not enough to warrant three stars.

Disappointing.

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