Two friends conquer their fears together.
Interest Level: Pre-K through grade 2; Reading Level: 1.3
4 out of 5 stars
In this fun story, the reader is introduced to two friends — Bob, a puffer fish and his friend, Sea Monkey. Bob is bright yellow with green spots and orange fins that look like spiky hair. Sea Monkey is red and white striped and wears a very fashionable bow tie. Debbie Ridpath Ohi’s illustrations really make these two friends stand out in the underwater world she illustrates.
Their personalities stand out as different as well. Sea Monkey is afraid that he is going to sink to the bottom of the ocean. It’s dark down there and he is also afraid of the dark. Bob tries to make him feel better by declaring, “You will not sink,” to which Sea Monkey replies, “I could sink Bob. I am much heavier than I look. Heavy things sink.” As Sea Monkey’s argument starts to convince Bob that sinking could be a real fear, Bob realizes that he is afraid of floating.
The text that Aaron Reynolds have crafted is perfect for these two unlikely friends. The style of conversation is very formal sounding, which is a funny contrast to the silly look of the characters. This would make a very fun read-aloud if the reader utilizes different voices for the two characters.
Ohi has done a great job illustrating the text so that readers can clearly tell which character is speaking. The text floats in the water and the color of the letters match each character. Bob’s words are yellow with a green outline, and Sea Monkey speaks with white letters that are outlined in red. It is also fun to notice some of the secondary characters as they give the two worrying friends strange and questioning looks.
This is a fun story that shows that sticking together can be a good way to conquer your fears. The text is accessible to young independent readers, or this would be a great read-aloud.
Sea Monkey & Bob
by Aaron Reynolds; illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2017