It's funny how some topic or type of character will suddenly appear in several places with no connection to each other. In this instance, it's a blobfish. Only last month Jess Keating's book, Pink Is for Blobfish, was on our school's book fair - and now here is a story of hilarious miscommunication also starring a blobfish.
Where Keating's book is a nonfiction look at pink creatures in nature, Miranda Paul has written a tale of a lonely guy who just wants some friends, lights, and delicious treats. That's not asking too much, is it? As he sees it, Blobfish can either "1. Throw a party. 2. Save the world in true hero style." Naturally he decides that throwing a party would be easier, but it doesn't go well. Everyone who hears his invitation actually mis-hears it. "Deep-sea party! Bring a treat to share!" becomes "Creepy tree party! Wring and eat your hair!" and even worse variations.
Just when Blobfish despairs of ever having a party, or friends, or delicious treats, a surprise twist happens. (I'm not saying what it is.) I will say that Blobfish reminds me of Big Al in the book by Andrew Clements. They both are lonely and want friends, and their best efforts don't seem to work. But Blobfish's story is a great one to use when looking at silly rhymes (think The Hungry Thing), or miscommunication in general. Kids can have fun inventing their own rhymes for different groups and different settings. What can they think of to add to the ballerinas, sheep, mermaids, and monkeys already in the book?
Maggie Caton's illustrations show a guy with a sad face that would give the Pout Pout Fish a run for his money. Each group's reaction to their interpretation of Blobfish's invitation is sure to provoke lots of smiles and giggles, especially the big scene where "Everyone was partying in loud, weird ways." And I love the way she shows the reporters backtracking to where the whole idea originated. (It was my first time ever seeing a cow in a scuba helmet.)
If you have a young reader who enjoys humorous and even downright wacky stories, or you need a good book about careful listening or miscommunication - grab a copy of Blobfish Throws a Party. Just be prepared for the laughter!
I read an advance copy provided by the publisher for review purposes.