Two siblings must brave the open ocean to reconnect.
In this debut collaboration between Johnston and Dove, these Californian artists devise a dramatic tale of family separation. Jellyfish brothers Spencer and Vincent have only each other as the story opens, but both are so content in their companionship that they concoct a little “ditty” to sing to one another as they “[blob] along over the foaming ocean waves”: “My brother, my brother, he’s sweet, not smelly. / I love him from down in my jelly belly.” All is well until one stormy day, when “a wave of superior magnitude” washes Vincent “into the distant distance.” Try as he may, Spencer, “a bobber of seas,” quickly realizes he must enlist help in order to have any hope of finding Vincent. Dove’s digitally manipulated watercolors gracefully capture the great variety of aqua-toned wildlife and ocean flora that pink, gumdrop-shaped Spencer summons to his aid, not the least of whom is his whale friend Horace, himself “of superior magnitude,” who gently nudges Spencer along on his mission to save Vincent from the perils of being washed ashore. Throughout this adventure, Johnston’s playful narrative employs repetition as well as highfalutin vocabulary, adding a lyrical swell to the collective rescue efforts of creatures great and small.
A sweet tale of filial devotion among inveterate invertebrates, offering important lessons in knowing and testing one’s limits. (author’s note) (Picture book. 3-8)