Sea Monster and The Bossy Fish

Kate Messner
Chronicle Books (2013)
ISBN: 9781452112534
Reviewed by Gabriel James (age 3) and Mom for Reader Views Kids (4/14)
Kate Messner’s “Sea Monster and the Bossy Fish” is a story of the new kid in class. While everyone expects him to be shy and nervous on his first day, he turns out to be very bossy and brags about everything he can do. The new fish tries to establish a club for just him and the fish he likes but finds out that we don’t have to leave people out and boss people around to make new friends. This book has a great message! 

I have seen it time and time again - little kids who feel like they need to boss others around to get what they want. This book is great at capturing the reactions of others who may have been bossed around and did not like it all. My son, who is very big for his age, can be this way sometimes and it is great that I can pick up a book that says “hey, people don’t like to be treated like this and this is not the way to make friends.”

“Sea Monster and the Bossy Fish” is one of those books that has a very important message and is perfect for all kids but especially those younger ones that are just starting to learn social skills and how to interact with others. Another great subject that this book softly touches on is discrimination and labeling. The author does a great job of showing kids that you can really hurt other peoples feeling when you leave them out because of how they look and how pointing out the things that make them different as a joke can hurt them as well. There is nothing wrong with having friends that look different than you and including them into your group or club. As a matter of fact, it’s better to include everyone because hey, the more the merrier!

Gabriel has learned from this book and mommy can say “hey, nobody likes a bossy fish” and he understands the reference. Just like most books, the bright illustrations kept him interested and allowed him to follow along with the plot. Kate Messner’s “Sea Monster and the Bossy Fish” is a great book full of messages, perfect for those young pre-kindergarten aged children. It is definitely one that I recommend be read to not only my son but kids in daycares and schools everywhere. In an age of bullying, a book with messages like this should be shared with children early enough for them to learn how we treat each other.

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