cover image Sea Monkey & Bob

Sea Monkey & Bob

Aaron Reynolds, illus. by Debbie Ridpath Ohi. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4814-0676-5

Ohi’s (Where Are My Books?) puckish cartoons and Reynolds’s (President Squid) fine comic timing light up this story about how friends help each other. Sea Monkey is scared that he’s going to sink to the bottom of the ocean; his friend Bob, a pufferfish, is worried that he will float to the top. Their anxious remarks drift next to them in the water as each friend tries to persuade the other that these outcomes are unlikely. Their genteel debate (“You are making some really good points here”) and dorky, contraction-free diction are funny no matter what they’re saying. “It is happening!” Bob groans. “I think I am floating, Sea Monkey!” “I think I am sinking!” yells Sea Monkey in return. Their solution—they discover that if they hold onto each other tightly, they won’t sink or float—is so sweet and sappy that Ohi paints a passing fish giving them some serious side eye. Young readers and listeners won’t, though: they’ll smile. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. Illustrator’s agent: Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown. (Apr.)