Following on from my non-fiction post, Blue Planet 1, which was packed full of some stunning new titles, it’s now the turn of some equally fabulous fiction books.
‘Alba the Hundred Year Old Fish,’ by Lara Hawthorne (Big Picture Press)
A highly topical picture book about the damage plastic pollution does to the coral reef home of Alba and how the local community work together to clean the surrounding ocean.
Alba has lived on the reef her whole life and each year, on her birthday, Alba finds something beautiful to add to her collection. However, over the years Alba notices there are less and less beautiful things to collect and that there are less friends to celebrate her birthday with. She’s also noticed more and more unusual objects killing the coral and making the water dark and murky. She sets off further afield and finds more than she had bargained for. 4+
‘Tropical Terry,’ by Jarvis (Walker Books)
Terry the fish lives in a beautiful coral reef with his two best friends, Cilla and Steve, a dazzling array of flashy, shimmering tropical fish. The three friends play together all the time (Terry is particularly good at hide-a-fish), but try as he might, Terry can’t convince any of the rather snooty tropical fish to join in. Terry decides to take matters into his own fins and, with the aid of some sticky seaweed, transforms himself into the most dazzling fish in Coral Reef City. However, when Eddie the Eel arrives looking for dinner, Terry has to learn some very quick lessons!
Jarvis’s artwork is absolutely stunning with the vibrant colours zinging off the page. The perfect story for talking to children about the value of real friendships and the power of being yourself. 4+
‘Stefano The Squid: Hero of the Deep,’ by Wendy Meddour, illustrated by Duncan Beedie (Little Tiger Press)
When the Deep Sea TV crew come to film in Stefano’s neck of the ocean, he starts to think that maybe being a small common squid just isn’t that special. The crew are only pointing their lenses at interesting creatures like the carpet shark or the sea cucumber. As all the other sea creatures point out how fascinating they are and how plain and ordinary Stefano is, he gets more and more despondent. When the moment arrives for Stefano to prove that he too is a hero of the deep, will he have the self-belief to follow through and shine like the special little squid he is?
The illustrations are full of Beedie’s trademark humour and warmth, adding beautiful depth to the pages. A gentle underwater exploration of having the courage to overcome your fears and realising that you don’t have to be the biggest or the flashiest fish in the sea to be of worth. 4+
*Many thanks to Big Picture Press, Walker Books and Little Tiger for sending me these titles to review*