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Summary: Roses is a beautiful island, but Blue Ocean Bob is not content living there. He wants a fuller life. Bob and his reluctant bird companion, Xena, embark in his boat, hoping for guidance from sea creatures. The pair encounters a dolphin, who directs them to Doc the wise sea turtle. Doc lives in a lagoon with a sunken ship. Doc told Xena and Bob that the road to contentment begins by looking inside oneself and realizing one's passion. What does that mean? And will it help Blue Ocean Bob find his purpose in life? Blue Ocean Bob is a picture book series built on the concepts of personal growth.
Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 7 to 10; read yourself: 10 and Up
Interest Level: 5 to 9
Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ educator, who read the book with their first grade class.
Young Reader Reaction: When I read this with my first graders, I needed to explain the meanings of many words. Because of challenging vocabulary - both in pronunciation and meaning - I recommend Blue Ocean Bob for grades 2 and up. Despite the difficult to sound out words (sight words), children will love the story and illustrations and want to grow into a better reader with this book.
Teen Reviewer: The Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob, is a treat to read. Olbry highlights important values such as ambition, resourcefulness and teamwork. With a fun rhyming pattern, numerous sea creatures, and an engaging story, this book is a perfect bedtime story for children 5 to 7 years old.
Adult Reader Reaction: Blue Ocean Bob's message is that happiness comes from pursuing your passion, or more simply put, "follow your dreams." The beautiful illustrations in Blue Ocean Bob create a lively seaside world and the maps let readers track Bob's journey to Doc's Lagoon.
This is a great book for kids transitioning to the next year in school, or those who are starting to think about what their passion is. This book may be more suited for a teacher read-aloud book for first grade, rather than a student read book.
Pros: Beautiful illustrations and an inspirational message will appeal to young readers and adults alike.
Cons: Although the book is recommended for preschool and up, the vocabulary and concepts may be a bit complex for very young readers.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a lovely book to share. It may be a nice gift for a student getting ready to graduate from elementary or middle school to celebrate their growth and personal discovery.
Educational Themes: Using the map on the inside covers, readers can build spatial reasoning skills by tracking Bob's journey as he sails from his dock at the beach, as he stops at the dolphins, and finally as he reaches Doc's Lagoon. Readers are set up to make predictions about Bob's path based on the illustrations on the map, and may imagine what else Bob might do in his island world.
Notes: A Reading Tub® volunteer submitted this review. She borrowed the book from their local library.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book series, life lessons, adventure
Date(s) Reviewed: June 2015, August 2017
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.