Imagine growing up in a town where everything revolves around the sea, where your status depends on your prowess in fishing and sailing, and where you are belittled if your father has turned his back on the sea. You would probably do anything you could to clear the stigma from your name, even take insane dares from the local bully just to prove that you were not a coward. That is just what Bobby is dealing with. Mix in a young octopus named Walter who is trying to find his mother (captured in a fisherman's net), a chubby pelican named Pucello (who reminds me of Scuttle from "The Little Mermaid"), and you've got a recipe for some serious escapades going on. But there are also darker characters - Mario, the bully (who is so mean he fed his sister's favorite doll to a dog), his gang of followers, Captain Bonicelli and his ship's mates Frimp and Frump are all cruel and unscrupulous. How can a boy who is younger and smaller, a young octopus, and a clumsy sea bird hope to triumph over these villains?
The theme of dealing with grief weaves through the story line. The whole village is still dealing with the loss of an entire ship's crew back in the days that Bobby's grandfather worked out at sea. Bobby and his father are mourning the loss of Bobby's mother. His father has given up a life at sea because there are so many painful memories associated with it. The school teacher, Ms. Peach, is still living alone and childless after the death of her husband. Even the mother octopus, Ophelia, fears and distrusts humans because her father was killed by fishermen. That may make the story sound very somber and dull, but it is full of suspense and danger with a few laughs mixed in.
Landlubbers and seafarers alike will enjoy rooting for a boy who wants to run off to sea and an octopus who wants to learn more about humans.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.
You may find out more about the author on his website.