If there is a lesson that our kids can’t escape these days it’s not to be cruel to someone else just because they may look different than you. Stephanie Guzman takes this lesson under water in The Adventures of Oliver the Clownfish: Acting Cool. At first glance, I wasn’t much impressed by Oliver since he just seemed too much like Nemo – another clownfish, another lesson in being different, but this time it is a dolphin, not a clownfish, who is different.
Dolly, a dolphin, is new in these parts. She meets Oliver and his pufferfish friend Paul before school starts for the year. They play together all summer, but when school starts and the other fish make fun of Dolly because of her yellow hair and the neon colored shapes all over her body, their friendship is tested. Paul follows the crowd, but Oliver is conflicted. He knows it is not right to turn your back on someone who looks different, especially when you were friends with them before the rest of the crowd told you what they thought, but will he brave the crowd and stand up for his new friend, Dolly?
I did like the character of Oliver after all; he shows courage in the face of peer pressure and does the right thing despite what his other close friends decide to do. The pictures were also much better after a closer look. Much of the illustrations are simply layered on top of underwater pictures of a coral habitat, which was pretty neat. However, it still plays off of the Nemo theme a little too closely for my tastes. So, if you have or know of a child who can’t get enough of salt water adventures, this one is for you (did you hear that they are working on a sequel to Finding Nemo?).
Alyssa Katanic is a wife and homeschooling mother of 6 children under 10 years old. She loves reading and collecting great books to share with others and knows that one can never have too many!
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Stephanie Guzman. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.