Fish Kid and the Lizard Ninja by Kylie Howarth

cover image

Walker Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781760650810.
(Age: 7+) Recommended. Themes: Humour, Marine Biology, Environmental Issues, Ocean Life, Adventures, Friendship, Problem Solving, Fish facts. Young Bodhi lives an enviable life on a boat with his parents, a marine biologist and an ocean photographer, who are passionate about saving the marine environment. Unfortunately for Bodhi he has an aversion to the ocean and the creatures that dwell below the surface. He is home schooled but would much rather be in a traditional classroom on land.
This trip, Bodhi's parents are researching and studying slimy sea cucumbers. Emely, the skipper's daughter, in yet another prank, decides to introduce Bodhi to sea cucumbers disguised in a green smoothie. What happens next is highly entertaining as Bodhi succumbs to illness but in the process gains secret powers. Bodhi and Emely eventually find themselves alone on a desert island in the company of Guapo, an intelligent marine iguana, who joins the children on their quest to safety.
Bodhi is initially a quiet, nervous and mild character while Emely is the feisty one. However with Bodhi's newly developed secret powers he is able to lead both himself and Emely out of their predicament and save Guapo. Throughout the book Kylie Howarth has included clever illustrations and fish facts which help create a visual context for the reader. The story is a fast moving and an enjoyable read. Teacher's activities are available and there is a second book coming soon in this series, Fish Kid and the Mega Manta Ray.
Kathryn Beilby