A debut children’s story of friendship under the sea among several unlikely creatures.
When you’re a barracuda, it can be tough to make friends. With his sharp teeth and wide, lopsided smile, Bobby comes off as a little scary even though he’s not dangerous. He’s determined to make friends, however, and this determination sees him through encounters with many different creatures of the Caribbean Sea’s coral reef. At the beginning of the story, Bobby is newly on his own: “He has four thousand brothers and sisters, so home is pretty noisy and crowded. Now he is going out on his own, and he’s not sure what to expect.” However, it isn’t long before he meets Gavin, a young grouper from a big family, and they decide to explore the reef together. Bobby and Gavin make new friends, including Christian the blue crab, Patsy the pelican, Sassy the lobster and Ruby the dusky damselfish, and they attempt to help them with their problems; Christian’s hunt for a new shell, in particular, makes up a big part of the plot. Throughout, Bobby faces new challenges as he tries to be the best friend he can be. This illustrated chapter book for young children features a guide at the back with information about each character. The language is straightforward and clear, although it relies on somewhat complex ideas at times (“Gavin explains that the parrot fish chewing on the coral is mainly responsible for making all the sand”). As a result, the book might be difficult for very young children to follow on their own. However, Bobby is a fun character, and the lessons about making friends and helping others are invaluable. Overall, this is a good title for children to share with parents, teachers or other adults.
A worthwhile tale of friendship.