Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Book Review: 'Andee The Aquanaut' by Simon James House

Simon James House seems born to write this trilogy of which this book is the first installment. Born in London he now lives in both Sydney, Australia and London, following the waves as a surfer and his literary pursuits as a children’s book writer. He is also the creator and president of the FreeForma clothing line and the inventor of the classic surf/skateboard FreeForma bike. On the ecology side Simon supports cetaceans in distress (Cetacea are one of the most distinctive and highly specialized orders of mammals. They include the largest animal that has ever lived, the blue whale; the highly intelligent and communicative dolphins; the tusked narwhals and blind river dolphins and singing humpback whales — nearly eighty living species in all) by donating a percentage of profits from sales of the Andee the Aquanaut Trilogy to worthy organizations worldwide.

Simon’s writing coupled with the excellent illustrations by Zoran Zlaticanin create an aqueous world in which we learn to love and respect Andee, the young lad whose Mum and Dad are marine biologists living on an island in the middle of the ocean – Andee’s birthplace. Andee’s best friends are two young dolphins – Tingo and Tango – and he spends his days playing with them in the water while his parents search the reef for new sea-life that could cure illnesses. A consequence happens – a major storm hits the island and Andee’s parents, working out at sea, are lost. Andee pairs with the dolphins and that is where the magic begins. Tingo and Tango save Andee and he becomes one with his new dolphin family. Little does he know - he is the Chosen One: he has special powers allowing him to be one of the great and legendary Aquanauts of the Marine Kingdom; the Lost City. His purpose at first is to assist and protect all marine life. But he’s destined for a far greater purpose than that. Sent on quests and adventures by the Wise White Dolphin, he faces turmoil beyond his imagination and discovers that there are many dark and evil forces standing in his way.

What a terrific first book to open a trilogy. By book’s end (and it is short enough and quite right for children to read, so well paced are the paragraphs and the chapters, interspersed with Zoran first class illustrations) we are addicted, awaiting the next volume of adventure. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, November 15

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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