Around 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age, the low lying land mass that joined Britain to the rest of the European continent was drowned by a rise in sea level. This was a difficult moment for a brave ancient creature named Solent. All other Ice Age land animals drowned, but there was something special about Solent. He was not just any ordinary Ice Age animal, but a cross between a sabre-toothed tiger, woolly rhinoceros, cave lion, woolly mammoth and a ground sloth. It was the combination of the strengths of each of these creatures alongside Solent’s perseverance, stubbornness and fighting spirit that led to his survival. His body evolved quickly in order to adapt to his new, very wet surroundings and he soon was an able swimmer, although usually preferred to stomp about at the bottom of the sea.
Solent is like a swimming encyclopaedia with a formidable knowledge of historical, geographical, geological and sociological issues surrounding this area off Britain’s mainland. Solent witnessed another flood 7,000 years ago. This was due to the erosion of a chalky ridge and led to the severance of the Isle of Wight from the rest of mainland Britain and the water mass called The Solent. Well we know where that name came from, don’t we? Solent discovered the point where the whole severance happened. He inspected some stacks of chalk extending out into the sea near one mass of land and then could see more land and inspected similar stacks not very far away directly opposite. Today we know these as Old Harry Rocks and The Needles. Solent loved this area of the sea and created a home for himself at the bottom. He was content. The sea was a hugely exciting place to be, in fact, never a dull moment. That was until one day a huge metal pole landed in the middle of his home. An attempt was being made to build a bridge to join the Isle of Wight to the Mainland, but thereafter, every time the bridge construction workers came anywhere near the sea, the attacking sabre-toothed tiger side to Solent shot out of the sea with tremendous speed and viciously destroyed anything or anyone in sight.
A red squirrel from the Isle of Wight heard the commotion and scuttled down to The Needles and made contact with Solent, asking him what on earth he was doing. Solent told the squirrel the construction workers ruined his home at the bottom of the sea and no way did he want more poles being put down. The red squirrel called Red Max and Solent became good friends because the red squirrel also did not want a bridge for different reasons.
This book is a story about Red Max communicating with the knowledgeable Solent his objections to having a bridge joining his Isle of Wight home to the mainland. Red Max deals with sociological issues, whereas, Solent provides an historical, geographical and geological slant.