Ira the Little Dolphin
Shekar Dattatri
age group: 
3+ yrs
Number of pages: 
nature and wildlife marine life dolphins Chilika Lake
picture book, non-fiction

Not many people in India are aware that dolphins, the amazingly playful and friendly creatures-- are also found in India. They can be found off both the east and west coast of India, in the Ganga and as well as in Lake Chilika in Orissa. In this book by Shekar Dattatri, wildlife enthusiast and conservationist, non-fiction comes alive with the beautifully narrated story of Ira, a liitle Irrawady dolphin, whose species is endemic to Asia and fortunately for us, also found in India in the Chilika Lake; a haven for birds and marine species alike.

What is the life of the dolphin like? Does she have a family? What are her joys, her sorrows and more important her threats?

By means of brilliant photographs, uncluttered and focussed entirely on the subject at hand, the author unfolds Ira’s life with minimal usage of words. We are delighted to see her flip, flap and splash in the waters. We see her playfully spraying water and also get accquainted with her family; watch her gobble a fish and rise majestically out of the water to survey her surroundings--the beautiful Chilika Lake, in all its moods. But all is not well in the life of a dolphin. Danger lurks everywhere--by way of fishing nets and worse motor boats that maim or even kill the unsuspecting friendly mamals who come up close. 

End notes and a map of the areas where the Irrawady Dolphin is found is an important addition and will be very useful to children whose curiosity is aroused and are eager to know more.

A must have for every nature lover! 

Two other tiles for children on dolphins in India are Bijoy and the Big River  set in the mighty Brahmaputra and Putul and the Dolphins in the most famous of Indian rivers, the Ganga. 

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee