Dolphin’s Triumph A Steve Parish Picture Book Story by Rebecca Johnson Photos by Steve Parish



 dolphins triumph

My children have always been really drawn to The Steve Parish books. They love animals (which kid doesn’t?) and the photos are really appealing to them. When my son brought this book home from library this week, I wasn’t surprised, but I was thrilled with how the storyline related to our household, currently.


Baby dolphin loves to swim. She loves to duck and dive and chase fish by her mother’s side. She can do all sorts of fun tricks in the water, but what she really longs to do is leap into the air. She watches, each day as the adult dolphins sail high above her and she wishes she could join in.

Her mother is quick to assure her that, with practise, she will get there…

Why I love it:

We recently bought both our kids new bikes. They had outgrown the old ones and as my daughter’s knees whacked her in the chin one morning on the ride to school, we decided it was time to upgrade!

Our son had also outgrown his bike, but the issue we had with upgrading his, was that he still hadn’t learnt to ride. We’d tried on and off, but he hadn’t yet mastered it and hadn’t shown the enthusiasm to really push himself to learn. We decided to get the new bike for him, with the condition that he work at it a little every day.

Once he saw the rest of us zooming around, his sister on her new bike and both his parents joining in, the fire was lit within and suddenly he desperately wanted to do this!

After several days of rolling up and down the driveway and getting a feel for the balance, we took him down to the courts at the school (the same place his sister learnt to ride) and got the camera ready, and sure enough, off he took!

The look on his face as he realised he was pedalling and staying upright, is something I am so glad we have captured.

Now we are off for a ride at least twice a day and he is absolutely loving it! We are loving his joy and his new-found ability, but even more than that, we are loving the lesson he has learnt, which is that if you want to achieve something, the only way it’s going to happen is if you work at it.

Not riding a bike is never going to teach you to ride a bike.

Anyway, long story short (too late) ‘Dolphin’s Triumph’ reminded me a lot of the bike situation and our son also saw the correlation when he read the book to us last night.

A good, positive message, with cute photos of animals – win, win!

Themes to discuss with your child:

  • Goal-setting
  • Perseverance
  • Jealousy and longing
  • Resilience
  • Working towards something you want rather than waiting for it to come to you
  • Family
  • Support
  • Celebration
  • Achievement
  • Pride
  • Happiness

Questions to ask your child:

Before reading:

  • What do you think this book might be about?
  • Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
  • What do you notice about the pictures in this book?
  • Do you think this book is going to be happy or sad? What makes you think this?

After reading:

  • What was Dolphin’s triumph?
  • How did Dolphin feel before she could leap through the air?
  • What did her mother tell her?
  • What happened after she practised?
  • What do you think you should do if there’s something you really want to achieve?
  • Is there something you would like to work towards? Tell me about it.
  • How did Dolphin feel after she achieved her goal?

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