A debut picture book about a little boy’s observations of undersea life.
Author Messer shares her own love of snorkeling with very young readers in simple, rhyming text about a Caucasian boy’s exploration of a coral reef. “A little fishy in the bright blue sea / In the peak of summer, he came swimming after me,” narrates the boy. The “little fishy,” who’s interested in the boy’s mask, snorkel, and fins, accompanies the child as he discovers that many types of fish swim among the coral. The boy giggles into his snorkel and notices that this sound surprises the sea life; he also expresses surprise at the “different sizes and shapes” of the creatures and compares their habitat to a city with “lots of busy traffic.” Archway Publishing’s full-page illustrations, which appear to involve pen-and-ink and watercolors, realistically depict various species in shape and coloration. However, the fish aren’t identified in the text, and a few illustrations repeat despite the book’s brevity. On two pages, the inclusion of a shark swimming quite near the boy may give some readers pause. That said, the images, while conventional, do effectively fit the pleasant tone of the author’s rhymes.
This book succeeds in communicating a child’s sense of adventure, but it won’t interest kids who want to learn specific facts about coral reef fish.