Official Review: The Adventures of Finley and Cisco

Please use this sub-forum to discuss both middle-grade and younger children's books, including picture books, easy readers, and children's chapter books. Topics for books aimed at children 12 and under go in this forum.
Forum rules
You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Make the title of the topic the name of the book, and if possible also include the author's name. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
User avatar
Posts: 1065
Joined: 03 Sep 2016, 15:34
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal: 25
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 28
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 400
Favorite Book: <a href=" ... 665">Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban</a>
Currently Reading: The Sleepwalker
Bookshelf Size: 256
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: A Boss is as she Thinkeths. by Krishawn Terrell
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Official Review: The Adventures of Finley and Cisco

Post by MarisaRose » 29 Nov 2017, 08:48

[Following is an official review of "The Adventures of Finley and Cisco" by Lisa Ozalis-Graham.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review

The Adventures of Finley and Cisco by Lisa Ozalis-Graham is a children’s picture book about a fish named Finley who moves from Lake Erie to a new school in Lake Superior. Finley is different from other fish because of an accident he had with a fishing hook when he was little. At first, many of Finley’s new classmates don’t want to talk to Finley because he is different, but Cisco doesn’t feel the same way and quickly befriends Finley. The two meet additional fish at the school and learn about how sometimes feelings can be hurt even if that wasn’t the intention. This book is relatively short at only twelve pages long and includes full page illustrations opposite the text on each page.

It can be difficult to stand out in the children’s picture book genre because there are only so many themes to write about for a young audience; however, it is still possible to create a distinct writing style. Unfortunately, at times, this book feels contrived; it even begins with the cliché words, ‘once upon a time.’ Though this book starts out relatively unimagined, it picks up steam as the story progresses and begins to take a more unique path. The author even includes some factual information about the Great Lakes, which boosted my overall opinion of the book.

Moreover, the illustrations in The Adventures of Finley and Cisco are interesting to look at, and the colors are bright and appealing, yet they stay true to the underwater setting of the book. I enjoyed that the illustrations capture some of the emotions of the characters with detailed facial expressions that make the story easily decipherable. For example, it will be relatively effortless for children to understand that Camie, another fish, feels sad when she is made fun of, based on the expression on her face.

The message in the story is simple and will be relatable for the intended audience. Themes of friendship, bullying, accepting differences, moving to a new school, and learning to talk about your feelings are all touched upon in this children’s book. Although these topics are nothing new for the children’s genre, the author adds a unique spin to her story by adding some cute acronyms to hone in on points of empathy and friendship. Overall, the main message comes across clearly in the book and is enhanced by the illustrations.

The illustrations, story and message of this picture book are all well executed and enjoyable to read; however, I had some minor issues with the writing. There were aspects of the writing that didn’t feel unique or imaginative, and I found some instances of run-on sentences. The writing leads me to take away one star, giving The Adventures of Finley and Cisco a final rating of 3 out of 4 stars. I recommend this book to be read aloud to children aged three to seven, and children towards the older end of that range will likely be able to read the story by themselves.

The Adventures of Finley and Cisco
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like MarisaRose's review? Post a comment saying so!
"No two persons ever read the same book." -Edmund Wilson

User avatar
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 4191
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 26
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: End of the Last Great Kingdom
Bookshelf Size: 157
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Unfortunate Expiration of Mr. David S. Sparks by William F. Aicher

Post by kandscreeley » 04 Dec 2017, 08:39

It seems like this is a story that has been done before. Nevertheless, it does look cute. I love the cover! Thanks for the cute book. Since I don't have kids, I think I'll skip this one.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
Posts: 312
Joined: 30 Aug 2017, 10:38
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 30
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 56
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Key of F by Jennifer Haskin

Post by Mjgarrison » 04 Dec 2017, 11:21

Thanks for the great review, I think I'll read this to the kiddos I watch. They will love the illustrations.

User avatar
Kalin Adi
Posts: 891
Joined: 01 May 2017, 14:29
2018 Reading Goal: 15
2017 Reading Goal: 5
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 40
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 680
Currently Reading: Time is of the Essence
Bookshelf Size: 106
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: No Reflection by Christopher Johnson

Post by Kalin Adi » 04 Dec 2017, 11:29

I think the themes involve in this story never get old-fashioned. Also, in my experience, kids love when they can read or if someone reads to them and they can see the illustrations right there. So it's a positive remark that the author used full page illustrations opposite the text throughout the book. Too bad about the issues with the writing. They need to be polished. Thanks for the review!

User avatar
Patrick P
Posts: 2
Joined: 15 Oct 2017, 17:43
Currently Reading: 30th Century: Escape
Bookshelf Size: 4

Post by Patrick P » 04 Dec 2017, 13:08

Having seen the review here above, It's like I got almost all the story. So I did not want to read the book. But on the contrary, I did appreciate the cover design; it displays a real picture of the main character even before you open the book I guess.

User avatar
David Lewis
Posts: 2
Joined: 22 Jul 2017, 06:49
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by David Lewis » 05 Dec 2017, 09:27

From the review,I agree that the book is awesome for kids especially those who have to go through hard times either in school or in their neighborhood.I recommend it for the kids as I did to my nephews and nieces.It's a nice book.

User avatar
Posts: 1
Joined: 05 Dec 2017, 11:45
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Preciousogoo » 05 Dec 2017, 11:57

I think this book is so encouraging, we must not judge so fast and must accept people the way they are

User avatar
Mercy Bolo
Posts: 873
Joined: 31 May 2017, 03:44
2018 Reading Goal: 48
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 37
Favorite Book: <a href=" ... 10262">The Wisdom and Peace of the Teachings of the Tao Te Ching</a>
Currently Reading: And Then I Met Margaret
Bookshelf Size: 143
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Too Late to Mourn by Christian Tyoder and Lynn Tyoder

Post by Mercy Bolo » 05 Dec 2017, 15:59

I like that this book covers themes of friendship and love. The fact that it begins with "Once upon a time " is surprising though.
"The minimum requirement for a dream is a safe place to lay your head."
~OluTimehin Adegbeye

User avatar
Miriam Molina
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 2374
Joined: 02 May 2017, 20:17
2018 Reading Goal: 48
2017 Reading Goal: 36
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 33
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 125
Currently Reading: A Stained White Radiance
Bookshelf Size: 489
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: "Art of Peace by Collective Wisdom" by Davita
Reading Device: B00KC6I06S

Post by Miriam Molina » 06 Dec 2017, 07:42

I actually like "Once upon a time." Those words bring me back to my days of innocence, LOL!

Fish are child-friendly (Finding Nemo reinforced that), so I believe kids will have fun with this book. Too bad that there are grammar issues. Children's books should be flawless in that aspect. Period.

User avatar
Lilimaster of Bookshelves
Posts: 4857
Joined: 17 Jul 2015, 20:19
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 22
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 100
Currently Reading: The tattooist of Auschwitz
Bookshelf Size: 394
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Malice of the Cross by Jeremy Croston
Publishing Contest Votes: 27
Location: Snuggling with a Book :)

Post by hsimone » 06 Dec 2017, 14:09

The love the theme of acceptance here! There's definitely not of enough exposure for children (and some adults sometimes). It's great that the illustrations were attractive as that's important in children's works, too. Too bad about the writing, but I'm glad that it was still enjoyable!
"Love is patient, love is kind." -1 Corinthians 13:4

User avatar
Gunnar Ohberg
Posts: 153
Joined: 13 Nov 2017, 18:08
Currently Reading: The Nix
Bookshelf Size: 48
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: "Rope" by M. Ketsia Theodore-Pharel

Post by Gunnar Ohberg » 06 Dec 2017, 18:14

Though I will probably pass on the book, I must say this is one of the best reviews I've read in a while. Great job!

User avatar
Posts: 401
Joined: 04 Nov 2017, 11:22
2018 Reading Goal: 48
2017 Reading Goal: 10
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 31
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 30
Currently Reading: A wrinkle in time
Bookshelf Size: 63
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Tails by WJ Scott

Post by inaramid » 07 Dec 2017, 04:46

The story does seem a little too...typical, but I like the drawings, so I might give this a shot based on that. Thanks for the review.

User avatar
Posts: 245
Joined: 05 Jun 2017, 09:49
Bookshelf Size: 18
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: "The Elf Brief" by Jordan David

Post by Anjum » 10 Dec 2017, 09:40

I like to read children's books but since the book is too short I think that I will skip it. Thanks for the review.

User avatar
Denisa Agasi1
Posts: 1
Joined: 12 Dec 2017, 02:48
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Denisa Agasi1 » 12 Dec 2017, 08:16

is a very attractive book ..... I like very much ....

User avatar
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 6777
Joined: 25 Oct 2014, 09:52
2017 Reading Goal: 52
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 275
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Princesses Don’t Wear Glasses by Tia Cherie Dammen

Post by bookowlie » 15 Dec 2017, 12:31

Interesting, well written review! The "new kid" premise is not too original, but it's a concept that is very relatable. Honestly, the run-on sentences would bother me since it doesn't set a good example for children who are learning the proper way to write a sentence.
As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction. - Irish blessing

Post Reply

Return to “Children's Books”