I am the Cry Baby of the Beach. I am the Wimp of the Water. And I am not going in the sea. End of story.
When you're a sea lion too scared to swim, you get a fair bit of teasing. So instead, the Wuss of the Waves makes up exciting stories of sealers, shipwrecks and castaways. But when she finds herself in real danger, will she be brave enough to escape?
This came up for reviewing and I put my hand up thinking that it may be a book that my son would enjoy. This is the diary of a young sea lion pup who is scared to swim in the ocean. She ends up making up a story about a very brave Sea Lion and then one day ends up needing to be brave herself.
As an adult, reading the blurb on the back, I was expecting that her moment to be brave in, would require her having to swim, with no choice, yet it doesn't quite happen that way. Nevertheless, for a child reading this book, it's still a fun notion.
I read this book to my nearly six year old, knowing he was at the bottom end of the suggest reading age, and wasn't surprised by his reactions to the book. He found it a bit hard to concentrate on it as he is still reading a lot of books filled with illustrations, but this led to excitement each time there was an illustration.
He overall enjoyed the book and found the names that she called herself funny and liked repeating them. He didn't really like the mum, but he loved the story that our main Sea Lion pup made up. He liked it but wasn't in a rush for it to be read again.
We have been watching a lot of David Attenborough of late and this book was actually great timing for the kids. Having watched and listened to narration about how and why animals behave the way they do this book is a great perspective from a sea lions point of view. I thought this was a great twist on stories and it was good to get Miss Six and Miss Five thinking about what it would be like to be a sea lion and that animals having feelings too.
This is a chapter book written as though its the diary of a sea lion. There are a few pictures but not many and they are black and white. The text is a bit more detailed so this would probably suit ages 8 years and up I should think. Miss Six definitely didn't have the comprehension to read it herself.
I liked that the story has some humour in it and lots of nice family/friend dynamics but that it also shows the reality of being hunted and how hard life can be in the ocean at times. I would definitely recommend this if your child is studying animals at school as it will give them some great ideas about how to present information and about how animals in the ocean live. Or just to read if they like learning about ocean animals.
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"Character - the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life - is the source from which self respect springs."
Joan Didion (1934 - ), 'Slouching Towards Bethlehem'