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Adventures of the Sea Kids (Children's Book Series) Review by Karen Waide

• A Servant Like Jesus
• What a Bragger!
• Fast Freddy
• I’m Not Afraid!
Lee Ann Mancini
GLM Publishing
P.O. Box 812633
Boca Raton, FL 33481-2633

We love finding new books to read, but these days it is getting harder and harder to find books with Godly morals. Even in children’s books these days, I have noticed that there are quite often times where there are undesirable actions and words. Where it is harder to find books where Jesus is mentioned, it is getting easier to find books with magic and hints of Eastern religions. That is why I was thrilled when we were given the opportunity to review the full set of the Adventures of the Sea Kids books written by Lee Ann Mancini and illustrated by Dan Sharp.

These multi-award winning books help to promote Christian values for children. In each of the stories, different sea creature characters have to deal with real-life problems, and they do so in Biblical ways. A relationship with Jesus is shown to be an important part of life as the main characters in each story are shown to learn to trust Him and pray to him.

Each under the sea adventure features different sea creature characters.

Fast Freddy is about a half octopus/half shark named Freddy who just changed schools and was feeling like “a fish out of water.” At first Danny and Joey, along with the other fish in the class make fun of him and avoid him. It takes a talk with their mermaid teacher and seahorse janitor to remind them that everyone is different. They realize it is okay to have someone different as a friend. It is then that they learn of Freddy’s unique skills. Because of these skills, they ask him to join their swim team in the hopes of winning for the first time. When he helps them win, he is declared to be the MVP. He then thanks Jesus for making him different and for his friends.

In What a Bragger! Corey gets tired of listening to Melissa brag about all the things she supposedly has and gets to do. Corey’s parents help him look beyond the bragging, helping him to realize that Melissa might just need to learn to be a good friend. Corey discovers that Melissa really doesn’t have all those things, in fact it appears her family is hard up and she doesn’t have anything nice. Corey asks Jesus to help him know how to help Melissa. He then decides to get his friends to help him surprise her during her birthday party. Melissa learns she has wonderful friends that are more important than things.

In A Servant Like Jesus we are introduced to younger sea kids during their first day of school at Fish-Care Cove School. Charlie the crab hides from the rest of the class because he wants his mommy and doesn’t want to be there. That is until his teacher, Miss Stella, asks him to be her helper after he helps clear up an issue that was going on with a couple of other sea kids that he just happened to be watching when they got into an argument. He gets so busy helping others that he forgets to miss his parents, and he makes lots of new friends.

Rachel and Susie are the main sea kid characters in I’m Not Afraid!. Susie the shark keeps insisting she is not afraid when her friend Rachel the octopus wants to go on the Whale-Back Roller Coaster at the Undersea Amusement Park during summer vacation. Susie continues to find new reasons to procrastinate because she really is scared. They have a fun time eating food and playing games, but this isn’t what they came here to do, so Rachel insists they go on the Whale-Back Roller Coaster. A call to her mom helps Susie realize she doesn’t have to be scared because she can go to Jesus in prayer and He is always with us.

One thing we noticed in I’m Not Afraid!, is the addition of characters from the other books. They didn’t interact with Susie and Rachel, but they were in the background, enjoying the rides at the amusement park. I thought this was a nice way to connect the books, knowing that they really do live in the same coral-hood.

The characters are shown praying to Jesus in different situations. They pray because they are thankful, scared, or asking for help for a friend. I love that these sea kids are shown to be coming to Jesus with different situations. They don’t just go to Him to ask for things, but to thank him as well. When children have these books read to them, they see that Jesus is always there for them and he loves them. What a wonderfully fun way to instill a foundational relationship with Jesus to our children.

And it isn’t just learning about prayer that makes these books special. Children learn important morals such as not bragging, not bullying, not being afraid, and helping others. The stories are sweet and the illustrations are bright, colorful, and eye-catching. You can really get a sense of the character’s feelings   and emotions through the illustrations.  There are also little Christian symbols hidden on every page of all four books. You and your child(ren) can spend time searching for the little Bibles or fish symbols.

These books are recommended for children ages 4-8. All of my children (ages 4, 6, 8, and 9) enjoy these books, and they love asking for them to be read during our story times.

Each of the books can be purchased for $8.99 (soft cover) and $16.99 (hard cover). Fast Freddy and What a Bragger! are also available in Spanish.

I did want to mention that the website has a teaching tools section which contains quizzes, discussion questions, and word searches for each of the books.

-Product review by Karen Waide, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September, 2016