3 out of 4 stars
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The Adventures of Sappy Sardine by Laurence McElrea is a story about a young sardine. Like the title suggests, Sappy goes on an adventure. Sappy was in school one day when suddenly there was an attack, and everyone scattered. Instead of trying to find the others, once the danger was over, Sappy decided to go exploring instead. He had always longed to see more of the ocean.
I liked the adventurous spirit of Sappy the Sardine. He wasn't afraid to explore, but he had never been alone before. The ocean was a lot bigger than he had ever noticed. As he explores the sea, he meets new friends. After a while, he begins to detect problems with the ocean. There are areas where there is no life. Can Sappy figure out what's wrong? You'll need to read this book to find out!
The illustrations in this book are lovely. The colors are bright and deep, capturing the essence of underwater life. The effect of water and light is done well, and one can feel the ocean's depth as Sappy travels and discovers new adventure.
The character development is another plus in this tale of the sea. As Sappy learns, he becomes concerned, showing that even a little fish like Sappy can have a heart for his world. This conscientiousness is what I liked best about this book.
I loved how this author tells a sweet children's story while teaching children the natural world's value. The particular focus on earth's oceans is an essential topic of our times and can make a significant difference in how kids view the aquatic world.
The writing style is friendly in this book and uses language easy for children to understand. However, I noticed that the formatting includes the narration and dialogue in the paragraph blocks. Most stories carry the lines of dialogue on separate lines to make it easier to follow a conversation. That would have helped in this story.
I could find nothing to dislike about this book. I can't think of anyone to whom it wouldn't appeal. It has a great lesson to teach kids about saving our seas. It would be useful as a teaching aid in school classrooms. Young kids would enjoy it as much as older children. Even children at beginning reading levels would enjoy the beautiful illustrations of this book. However, I caution parents that a few of the images of barracudas chasing poor Sappy with their long teeth could frighten more sensitive children.
This book did not seem professionally edited. Several spelling and minor punctuation errors made it necessary for me to remove one star from its rating, but with corrections, it could quickly gain the top rating. Without further ado, I rate this unique story with 3 out of 4 stars.
The Adventures of Sappy Sardine
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