But this is definitely not a book that is meant for me. Perhaps if my little boy was a bit older we could have run reading it together (I certainly hope he wants his old man to read to him for a long time coming). Because the book reads as a high action version of Dora the Explorer; one mini-adventure after another with occasional learning moments dropped in (I learned the green sea slug eats algae then conducts photosynthesis within its own body). This is entirely intentional as the press sheet points out that there are teacher’s guides to this series to be found on Haydon’s website.
So despite reading the whole book this is NOT A REVIEW. Because I don’t know how to review it. I don’t think it is a book designed to appeal to older readership despite a Publisher’s Weekly’ quote to the contrary. It appears to be a book designed to be read middle graders or to be shared between a slightly younger crowd and their parents. Neither group are one I currently belong to (though I am holding out hope that I will start reverse aging at some point and maybe get back to my school days).
It was fast. It was fun at times but lacked any real depth. Despite being the forth book in the series there was no issue jumping right in. Ven, the protagonist whose ‘journal’ the narrator built the book from was just kind of there, carried along on his adventure more than taking part of it. His best friend Char was actually pretty annoying. His merrow (mermaid) friend was much better. The educational drops are vegetables hidden in a kid’s dessert; the story comes first with occasional factoids thrown in.
I am going to keep this book and hopefully someday read it with my little boy. At that point I will probably be able to talk about it better. And if you have a young reader around it may be worth your time to check it out.
Copy for review provided by publisher.