Kobee Manatee: Shipwreck Sea Friends

Robert Scott Thayer, illustrated by Lauren Gallegos

Publisher: Thompson Mill Press Pages: 32 Price: (hardcover) $16.99 ISBN: 9780997123937 Reviewed: April, 2017 Author Website: Visit »

Vibrant illustrations and detailed marine life facts enrich Robert Scott Thayer’s tale of underwater friends visiting a shipwreck.

Kobee Manatee and his friends Pablo and Tess are on their way to visit the site of the sunken SS Antonio López. They make lots of new friends along the way, including various fish, sharks, and even an octopus. Trouble arises once they reach the shipwreck, and Kobee must rely on his new friends for help.

The fictional narrative of Kobee Manatee: Shipwreck Sea Friends takes a backseat to the vivid images and fascinating nonfiction elements in the book. The plot is thin, mainly composed of a series of encounters with sea creatures for the purpose of listing facts about the animals in the call-outs on each page. There is an element of danger near the end when Kobee is trapped in the shipwreck by a beam that falls on him, but the true heart of the book is its nonfiction elements.

Any weaknesses in the plot are easily forgiven, however, because the book offers such intriguing marine life information. From animal facts to instructions on how children can become involved in ocean advocacy, each page features a “Kobee’s Fun Fact” that will intrigue and inspire anyone interested in ocean life. The one disappointment here is that there is no call-out about manatees.

The illustrations, too, are notable. Each page is alive with rich colors and intricate detail. Often, the illustrations offer added depth to the story, such as when Kobee’s friends are seen bandaging his tail and offering him comfort after he’s been trapped. Frequently, the “Kobee’s Fun Facts” mention animals that are not directly involved in the plot, so readers will enjoy searching the beautiful images for the fish described.

Although lackluster in plot, overall, Kobee Manatee: Shipwreck Sea Friends is a beautifully packaged book rich with facts and trivia that will delight children interested in ocean life.

Also available as an ebook.

Author's Current Residence
Newtown, Pennsylvania
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