cover image Anemone Is Not the Enemy

Anemone Is Not the Enemy

Anna McGregor. Scribble, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-950354-51-1

In this informative picture book told entirely through dialogue, bright pink Anemone is lonely in a tide pool. At high tide, three multicolored fish enter, but they’re suspicious of smiling Anemone (“Whatever you do, don’t get too close”); at low tide, it is revealed why: when the fish crowd Anemone, a full-page spread shows the now frowning figure’s inadvertent sting. Anemone feels discouraged by this common scenario: “I’m trying to make friends, not enemies./ So why do I always sting everyone?” But an encounter with Clownfish soon shows that there’s a friend for everyone. Digital illustrations in a light-colored palette have a kid-friendly, hand-drawn look, and extra details will reward careful readers. A lack of upfront explanation about why Anemone stings may confuse some, and an ominous end for the three fishes strikes an odd note, but this picture book by author-illustrator McGregor will appeal to budding marine biologists. Ages 5–7. (June)