Review: Sea Monkey & Bob

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Two delightfully anxious friends learn that they can overcome anything—even gravity—in this humorous and heartwarming picture book from bestselling author Aaron Reynolds and illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi.

Bob the puffer fish and his best buddy Sea Monkey may be little but they’ve got one ocean-sized problem. Sea Monkey’s terrified he’ll sink straight to the bottom of the ocean. After all, he’s heavy, and all heavy things sink, right? Bob on the other hand is worried that his puffed up frame will float up above the surface. He’s light, and all light things float! How will they stay together when the forces of gravity are literally trying to pull them apart? By holding hands, of course! Sea Monkey and Bob learn that sometimes the only way to overcome your fears is to just keep holding on…

Fans of Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie series, meet Sea Monkey and Bob, a mismatched pair of sea creatures who use their friendship to work through their just-silly-enough anxieties in this delightful picture book.

Like the  Elephant and Piggie books, the entirety of the text in Sea Monkey & Bob consists of dialogue between the two main characters. Books like this are so much fun to use with emerging readers, as children can read the story aloud in pairs, each taking on the role of one of the characters.

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Aaron Reynolds’ dialogue has just the balance of silliness and sweetness to really appeal to young readers – Sea Monkey and Bob’s anxieties are pretty silly, but the characters are so earnest and so endearing that kids are likely to empathize with them, as well as giggle at them.

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Different colours of text are used to identify which character is speaking, but because the characters are not always depicted on each spread, it might be a bit of a challenge for children to follow along with who is saying what.

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Sea Monkey & Bob would be an absolute hoot read aloud to a group, especially with two different readers acting out the different roles. It could also lead to some great scientific conversation – why do some things float, and others do not?

Charming, silly and fun, Sea Monkey and Bob are a delightful pair you’ve just got to meet.

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