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Home > Categories > Books > Kids - Junior > Big Little Blue 2: Rockybottoms! review

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Score: 10.0/10  [2 reviews]
5 out of 5
ProdID: 9181 - Big Little Blue 2: Rockybottoms!
Written by Raymond McGrath

Big Little Blue 2: Rockybottoms!
Sample/s Supplied by:
Click to search for all products supplied by Scholastic (NZ)

Disclosure StatementFULL DISCLOSURE: A number of units of this product have, at some time, been provided to KIWIreviews by Scholastic (NZ) or their agents for the sole purposes of unbiased, independent reviews. No fee was requested, offered nor accepted by KIWIreviews or the reviewers themselves - these are genuine, unpaid consumer reviews.
October 2023

Big Little Blue 2: Rockybottoms! product reviews

Proud to promote NZ productsThis is the second book in a series featuring friends Big Blue and Little Blue. Each story is designed to offer children coping strategies for navigating friendships and learning self-acceptance.

In Book 2 (Rockybottoms) the concept of making time to relax and just be yourself in whatever way you choose is introduced. A new character. Bubba Lubba, makes his first appearance. Bubba is a bold pirate seal who enjoys sunning himself on a rock and enjoys singing. And why not, if that is what he likes doing!

Raymond McGrath's humorous artwork accompanies his own text to produce a junior graphic novel aimed at primary school aged audiences.

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besties   big blue   big little blue   friendship   graphic novel   humour   little blue   nzmade   raymond mcgrath   rockybottoms   scholastic   wellbeing
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Click here to read the profile of sassy121

Review by: sassy121 (Amelia)
Dated: 4th of March, 2024

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This Review: 10/10
Age Appropriate:
Score 10 out of 10
Score 10 out of 10
Score 10 out of 10
Personal Choice:
Score 10 out of 10

All three of my children are bookworms, and I have no trouble in saying that they have caught their love of reading from me, I used to read to them multiple times a day as young children, and now I still read to the two youngest at bedtime. After receiving the first book in the Big Little Blue series and my boys both thoroughly enjoying reading it, I decided that the second book would probably be a hit too - this series is on my youngest son's favourite series list.

The front cover shows the two penguins super happy with arms raised high with enormous smiles on their faces. This book contains 3 shorter stories inside and after each story there is always a page with a 'Magic Mindful Message'. Throughout this book the images that the illustrator has created are stunning and full of detail and it is hard not to love the penguins. The theme behind this book is all about mindfulness and relaxing.

In these stories the big penguin is trying to teach the little penguin that doing nothing, and relaxing, is indeed doing something, and it is super important to take the time to relax. Little penguin tried to relax but found this was hard to do, so when all the other creatures are doing nothing, instead the little penguin chooses to focus on a task - sandcastle building - this was a form of active relaxing, by channeling the energy into focusing on one particular thing, rather than everything at the same time. When the little penguin met Bubba there was a song to be sung in the story, he told Bubba that doing nothing all the time would not be productive, and he would not find what he is looking for.

The message to take away from this book is that relaxing and doing nothing at times is good for us and our health, however it is not a good idea to do nothing all the time. I highly recommend this book and I love the fact that it is in the graphic novel style, I think it makes it easier for the younger kids to process. I will now be taking this book to our small rural school where I help teach, and this will be a handy resource to use when we do our mindfulness sessions on a Friday morning with the pupils.

Click here to read the profile of savta

Review by: savta (Jo)
Dated: 1st of March, 2024

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This Review: 10/10
Age Appropriate:
Score 10 out of 10
Score 10 out of 10
Score 10 out of 10
Personal Choice:
Score 10 out of 10

Miss Five thoroughly enjoyed the first Big Little Blue book (Sandypants) so she was over the moon with excitement when she realised she and her brother were going to be able to review the second book in the series (Rockybottoms!). Graphic novels are such a good way to encourage young readers to read independently as they can follow the story on their own frame by frame. She often took Sandypants to read quietly in her room, sometimes even using a torch so she could read in the dark without her parents' knowledge! While this was probably not the best way to read because of the possible damage to her eyesight, it is nevertheless encouraging that a child so young is consciously choosing to read. This is an activity she will continue to enjoy throughout her life, even if the lighting is more user-friendly!

The vocabulary used is reasonably easy for a beginning reader, and some of the dialogue actually corresponds to the way five-year-olds speak. Mr Four found the layout a little more challenging, but since he is not yet ready to read by himself there were difficulties in matching the pictures to the dialogue. Miss Five was like this a year ago but is now confident at tackling a graphic novel in this style, so there is no doubt that it will not be long before Mr Four too is comfortable with the layout.

Both children and their parents liked the mindfulness messages at the end of each story. They were written in such a way that very small children could understand them, but the content was universal. Relaxing is something many people, irrespective of age, are not good at especially when times are hectic. Mr Four is always on the go, so the message could have been directed just at him!

The illustrations, like those in the first book in the series, are ideal for the content and target age. They are clear and uncluttered, and the facial expressions of the characters are easy for a young reader to interpret. The artwork changes when Bubba Lubba is telling his story, framing it within the wider context of the chapter. Miss Five loved his song and had no problem distinguishing between the interaction of Big Blue, Little Blue, and Bubba Lubba, and the story-within-a-story. In fact, she loves the song so much the family is still being treated to it at least once a day. We could not find a tune for it but that does not stop her; she just makes one up!

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Score: 10.0
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Product image for The Snake Who Came to StayComical and charming story by Children's Laureate, Julia Donaldson, and illustrated by Hannah Shaw.

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