Tag Archives: ocean

How to Fix the Smile of a Crocodile: An ocean wide hunt for kindness! by Rebecca Kurien (Book Review)

Dive into the depths of the ocean and meet Barry, the saltwater crocodile who is in desperate need of help. With a toothache so terrible it won’t go away, Barry sets out on a journey to find the most talented sea creatures in the ocean for help. Along the way, he meets

  • An octopus with 8 helpful arms
  • A sperm whale, the loudest creature on earth
  • A sailfish, the fastest fish in the ocean
  • A blue whale, the biggest creature on earth
  • A great white shark, the fiercest in the ocean
  • An orca known for their extreme intelligence

Through this heart-warming and inspirational children’s book, your child will learn incredible facts about sea creatures woven into the plot of the story and discover the value of kindness and empathy.


Featuring beautiful illustrations, lovable characters and an awe-inspiring twist in the end, this book promises entertainment for your child. Perfect for children between the ages of 3 and 7, this book is a must-have in any collection.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 


At some point, everyone will require help from a friend, family member, or stranger. It could relate to work, schooling, a flat tire, sewing a tear in clothing, a scrape from a fall, or carrying a heavy or bulky object. Barry, the saltwater crocodile, required medical assistance. He, unfortunately, was dealing with a terrible toothache. He couldn’t eat or sleep. The pain was making him downright miserable.

Tooth pain is no laughing matter. While humans can call a dentist, Barry didn’t have that luxury. Even though Cleo, a little bird, swore she could help him, Barry rebuffed her help due to her small stature and species. Instead, he ventured into the ocean, where readers will meet the most extraordinary creatures in bright, beautiful colors. I was highly impressed with the underwater images. Every page was more stunning than the last. It was movie-quality artistry. (illustrator: Eduardo Paj)

Rebecca Kurien’s children’s book had a balanced collection of new and familiar water friends. For example, depending on age, kids should recognize the great white shark, but maybe not the sailfish. As Barry talked to the six ocean dwellers, he learned an interesting fact about each. In turn, your child will gain fun facts, too, such as an octopus does not have teeth.

While the crocodile’s toothy situation wasn’t fixed during his adventure under the sea, the trip proved worthwhile. He met and gained knowledge about new animals. He also learned a valuable lesson. We should never discount someone’s worth based on outward appearance. Also, if help is needed, be open to a person’s ideas or assistance. You never know who has the right tool for the job. Finally, we should teach kids to help others in need.

Children will fall in love with the vibrant colors, the many animals featured, and (of course) Barry’s mission to fix his achy tooth. Parents: Buy a copy for your house. Teachers: Include it in your themed lessons. Librarians: You’ll want multiple copies because I see the book flying off the shelves!


Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤

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Meet the Author 

Rebecca Kurien is an Indian-Australian writer, lawyer, musician and perhaps most importantly, a mother of two. She has lived between Oman and India in her childhood, before moving to New Zealand and then Australia.

Her debut book, ‘How to Fix the Smile of a Crocodile’ was inspired by her son’s fascination with the ocean and its wondrous creatures. She wanted to create a book for her children that was based on science and fact, while still leaning on the charm and magic of storytelling.

It is her dream to fill children’s lives with the richness and amazement of the world that we live in, by showing them that the journey to learning is never complete.

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Biño and the Triggerfish: The Adventures of a Yorkie by Kate Wessels (Book Review)

Meet Biño, a Yorkie with a big personality.
He loves to travel the world seeking for new adventures.
Biño easily makes friends – but his bold and boastful ways can often get him in trouble.
One rainy day, his owners announce they are heading to a remote, tropical island, that Biño can’t wait to discover.
As it happens, Biño soon learns that a dark shadow hangs over the island paradise, which has the native animals in unrest. A certain fish seems to haunt the waters.
Will Biño be able to bring back peace to the island?

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy DiscoveryI voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.


What a lovely, colorful map of The Island!

Like BiñoI went from living in frigid temperatures to bright, sunny weather 24-7, and it was a remarkable transition. Like the Yorkie, my body was not made for cold weather. 

The new city brought many opportunities to make new doggie friends, which he did daily. Lucky pooch! His owner explained to a neighbor that Biño’s name meant “little bear.” Curious, I searched the meaning of my pet’s name, and it came back as “a simpleton; a dunce.” Ouch! In truth, my furry friend is intelligent. 

Like most canines, Biño loves to play chase even at the most inopportune time. If you have canine friends, you can relate to a dog’s sudden need to run after something. This adventurous streak is a quality that most owners love, including Biño’s. They adored his eagerness to learn and discover new things. They took Biño (almost) everywhere, including on a plane ride. I loved the photo of him looking out the window. Cute! Oh, and the drawing of the pooch running with the knickers in his mouth made me laugh out loud. No shoe, sock, or pair of undies is safe from a dog’s mouth. 

The island was a wonderland, full of new sights, sounds, smells, animals, and places to explore. The family was invited to swim with reef sharks but chose snorkeling along the reef instead. Even though they were skittish to swim with the reef sharks, I liked that the author incorporated ways sharks are helpful into the storyline. People tend to focus on reports of shark bites and forget their contributions to the underwater world. That’s why I love shark week on the Discovery channel. They speak of the dangers and beauty of the apex predators. 

Joe, a storybook character, discusses coral reefs, palm trees, sea levels, and triggerfish. No image was provided in the initial mention of a triggerfish, so I did a quick internet on it. I learned there are 40 species of triggerfish. The fish looked flat in the various photos, which was quite unexpected. Later in the story, the author did have an illustration for the fish. It looked like one of the images I discovered online. Great job capturing its likeness, Anastasia Naryadko. Oh, and to Kate Wessels, the dog and fish (Pablo) conversation was delightful and informative! The chats with Titan Triggerfish were on the suspenseful side. I found each encounter entertaining in different ways. 

The island holds many gems, but it possesses dangers too. Watch out for falling coconuts and the not-so-friendly triggerfish! 

Amazon’s recommended reading age is 8 – 12 years. Some words will be unfamiliar to young readers. In fact, I had never heard of décolleté or the sport Boules. From a style and editing perspective, I would add a space between all paragraphs and different characters’ talking points to make things easier to read. 

With all that said, Kate Wessels wrote an exciting book demonstrating what we know about our canine companions: they love to eat human food, are very curious, and manage to find themselves in sticky situations. I can’t wait to read about Biño’s next adventure at the North Pole! 

Review submitted to Reedsy on 8/13/22.


Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤

Amazon Purchase Link



Meet the Author

As an avid reader and traveller, Kate has always loved a good story. With a focus on environmental topics, her books potray a fun and captivating story, while highlighting the challenges of modern times. She lives in Italy with her adorable Yorkie, Biño.

Reedsy Author Link




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