Vinni versus Bluebottle by Gerry Bobsien and Shane Von Westernhagen
Walker Books, 2012. ISBN 9781921720413
(Ages: 6-9) Recommended for newly independent readers. Vinni is down at the beach trying to keep cool. When he spots a bluebottle things begin to go wrong. He is thrown into a weird world where he meets creatures from the sea and has to battle the giant Bluebottle all the while trying to escape back to the beach.
Peopled with believable characters and a great dog, Vinni versus Bluebottle evokes all the feelings of hot summer days, life at the beach and the joy of exploring rock pools and cooling off in the water. Vinni as portrayed in the memorable illustrations by Shane Von Westernhagen is a solid young boy who is adventurous and courageous. Cracker his faithful dog is intelligent and brave.
Readers will learn much about ocean life, bluebottles and rock pools, but it is the adventure under the water that will appeal to them. They will have fun imagining what it would be like to be shrunk to a tiny size and to be the prey of a giant bluebottle. Thrills abound as Vinni tries his best to work out a way to get back to shore, making an underwater escape vehicle and chatting with fish.
This is an exciting story that boys will really like but will also appeal to girls.