The Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob: A Challenging Job by Brooks Olbrys is the second book in a series that centers around the adventures of a young boy (Bob) who is studying to be a marine scientist. In the chapters of this early reader book, Bob has different struggles he has to overcome.
This book is very inspirational, with the goal to encourage young readers to do their best, try hard, and keep trying even if you think you will fail or are afraid. That is the message it is trying to convey. Even though it is obviously trying, I don’t think that it goes about this task in the correct way. Having confidence in yourself and your abilities is a great trait to engender in children, however there is something to be said for making sure you have necessary skills before trying something that could be potentially dangerous. There were a couple times in this book when I felt Bob was encouraged to do something dangerous in an effort to raise his self-esteem and confidence in himself.
The other problem I had with this book was the concept. While I love the idea of a book that encourages someone to think positively about themselves, the title of the series give the impression that it is going to have a more environmental focus, which I have to admit I found disappointing.
That being said, there are a cute cast of supporting characters in this book. Bob’s hummingbird guardian, Xena, doesn’t like his ambitions to work in the ocean. His human mentor, Mary Marine, is sweet and encouraging, and Doc the turtle is someone that Bob can go to for advice. Additionally, the illustrations are well-drawn and compliment the story well.
If you are looking for a book to boost a child’s confidence, and are prepared to discuss safety issues with them during the reading, this book might be for you and your family. If you are looking for a book about environmentally, I would pass on Blue Ocean Bob.