Official Review: The Adventures of Finley and Cisco

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Official Review: The Adventures of Finley and Cisco

Post by MarisaRose »

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

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.
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Post by Mjgarrison »

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

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Post by Kalin Adi »

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!

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Post by Patrick P »

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.

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Post by David Lewis »

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.

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Post by Preciousogoo »

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

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Post by Mercy Bolo »

I like that this book covers themes of friendship and love. The fact that it begins with "Once upon a time " is surprising though.
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Post by Miriam Molina »

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.

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Post by hsimone »

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!
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Post by Gunnar Ohberg »

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!

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Post by inaramid »

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.

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Post by Anjum »

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.
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Post by Denisa Agasi1 »

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

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Post by bookowlie »

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.
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