Terry, a small, plain-blue fish, lives in a coral reef and wishes to be welcomed into the crowd of beautiful, colorful tropical fish.
His humdrum, monochromatic hue allows him to blend in with the sea environment, but he does not appreciate the advantages conferred by this camouflage. Though best friends Cilla the crab and Steve the sea snail play with him constantly, Terry wants only to be noticed and valued as a spectacular tropical fish. Terry crafts a fancy, vibrantly decorated tail and fins from bits and pieces he collects using sticky seaweed to dazzle his fellow fish. Now all the tropical fish want to play and accept him in their group until Eddie, a very large and hungry eel, turns up looking for dinner. The peril of being caught and eaten makes Terry realize that he must shed his flamboyant duds and use his innate ability to hide and protect himself. Luminous, vivacious underwater scenes done with pencil, chalk, and paint and digitally colored in predominantly blue and aqua backgrounds host an array of rainbow-colored sea creatures. Reminiscent of Leo Lionni’s Swimmy, Terry’s wit and fortitude provide guidance for all his friends, who conceal and disguise themselves within the coral to shrewdly outsmart the hungry eel. Themes of individuality and self-esteem along with the importance of using inherent assets to thrive subtly come through in this aquatic fable.
A pleasing fish story. (Picture book. 3-5)