'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 11 May 2024

Review: Cheer Up, Blobfish!

The Kid and I have long had a soft spot [so to speak] for blobfish, going way back to her days as mini-Attenborough, so this book was always on my radar. And really, who could go past that sensational cover with its lenticular feature?

Any reader whose eye is caught by this awesomeness, will not be disappointed by the story and art inside either. 

From the fabulous endpapers [you know my thoughts on this topic by now] and throughout the delightful rhyming narrative, to the sweet and affirming ending, this is a hit all round.

It's an exciting day - The Festival of Fish! All the fun of the fair with games and prizes and entertainment, with everybody joining in the merriment. Well, everyone definitely looks like they are having a whale of a time- except for little Blobfish. The other aquatic animals are concerned at his sombre expression.

They think he's not enjoying any of it and try their very best to raise a smile, but it just doesn't happen. Great White Shark eventually tells them to give it up, it's just the way a blobfish is. And, of course it is, until Blobfish gets back home deep, deep below the surface to his parents, and his smile becomes as wide as an ocean as he recalls the fun he's had.

Not everybody is the same, this we know. And kiddos know it as well. They also, more often than not, try to include others as much as they can - certainly, that's been my experience. So underneath the humour, bright colours and rollicking verse this book carries a warming message about being misunderstood, which even your youngest readers will be able to absorb.

In addition, there is some really useful and interesting back matter, which ably demonstrates the author's background in zoology. This is a book that absolutely cries out to me for some notes for use in the classroom. Unfortunately, there are none but I am adding some ideas for activities here including some info and how-to on lenticular pictures. You would also find more in the usual online/pay for content platforms, as well as other free materials.

A great big, blobby 5 frown recommendation for this superb new title from Affirm Press and creators Julie Murphy / Rachel Tribout. ☹️☹️☹️☹️☹️.

Cheer Up Blobfish!
Author: Julie Murphy
Illustrator: Rachel Tribout
Publisher: Affirm Press, $19.99
Date of Publication: April 2024
ISBN 9781922863966
Format: Hardcover
For Ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book