By: Tammy Carter Bronson
Publisher: Bookaroos Publishing, Inc.
Publication Date: June 2011
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: May 11, 2011
“Run, Sea Horse, run! Run far, far away! A sea dragon is coming!” warn the many creatures who inhabit the sea. But Sea Horse has a dear friend, Coral, who cannot run. Sea Horse is going to stay to protect Coral. Will he be able to save his friend from the frightening sea dragon?
Sea Horse, Run! is the sweet story of friendship between two rather unlikely friends, a sea horse and the coral that grows on the reef. While there are many creatures living in the sea, only Sea Horse can hear the beautiful song that Coral likes to sing. They keep each other company, with Sea Horse using his tail to cling to Coral as he listens to her music.
One day, a small school of sharks swim by the pair. The sharks seem to be scared and in a rush. Coral warns her friend, “Sea Horse, run far, far away.” The sharks just might eat the little sea horse. Sea Horse ignores the advice and then, out of curiosity, asks one of the sharks why they seem so frightened.
Shark trembled from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail. “A sea dragon is coming. Sea dragons are fearsome, terrible beasts. They have ten rows of teeth that chomp sharks into bits. Sea Horse, run!”
Sea Horse doesn’t know what to do. Surely if the sharks are worried, he should be too. But Coral cannot leave because she has no fins to help her swim away. She is growing on the reef and the reef is where she must stay. Sea Horse makes the decision to stand by his friend, whatever may happen.
Soon a moray eel swooshes by and warns Sea Horse of the danger headed their way. Then a big, dangerous looking octopus comes by the coral reef. Each time Coral warns her friend to run away, for she knows these animals are dangerous. Each time Sea Horse is warned by the newest arrival that a sea dragon is coming and he should run. But Sea Horse continues to stand by his friend.
When a patch of seaweed floats by, Sea Horse swims out from his hiding place to warn him to hide from the sea dragon that will soon arrive. Seaweed laughs for he knows the truth about the sea dragon. With a surprising twist that teaches Sea Horse about the creatures of the sea and the dangers that lurk (or don’t lurk) under the water, the tale ends happily with new friends made and courage successfully tested.
Sea Horse, Run! is first and foremost a fun story about two unlikely friends. The young reader will learn about the importance of standing by a friend in trouble. The story will also teach the reader why a person should never accept as truth what others say without investigating it for yourself. This tale encourages youngsters to think for themselves. But the story is not just an enjoyable tale about friendship and the dangers of the ocean; wrapped into it are lessons about the sea and the creatures who live there. For instance, we learn that sea horses can change color to match their surroundings and that the coral covering the oceans' reefs are alive.
At the back of the book are several pages of additional material, including facts on sea horses, sea dragons and coral. There is also a lovely two-page spread of the animals of the Australian coral reef, each marked with their common name. The illustrations do bear mentioning too, as they are bright, cheerful and detailed and mesh wonderfully with the story. The eyes of the animals were particularly expressive and gave Sea Horse and his friends personalities that jumped from the pages.
Quill says: An engaging, and educational, story about friendship and courage.
For more information on Sea Horse, Run!, please visit the book's website at: www.seahorserun.com