A manatee and his friends swim across the Gulf Stream and brave a hurricane on their way to the Bahamas in this colorful adventure for young readers.

In his second engaging children’s picture book, Thayer (Kobee Manatee: Heading Home to Florida, 2013) expertly weaves in true-life weather facts with a simple but eventful tale. A resourceful manatee named Kobee sets out on a 300-mile swim from Key West, Florida, to Nassau with his friends, a hermit crab named Pablo and a purple, pink-maned sea horse called Tess. There, Kobee plans to surprise his sister, Kim, on her birthday. But before the travelers reach the festive celebration, amid the multicolored coral reefs of the Bahamas’ warm waters, they face some suspenseful challenges. First, there’s a scary waterspout and a thunderstorm at sea: “Two lightning bolts shot right past us. The sky rumbled and roared.” A spinning hurricane follows: “The east winds swirled… I went for air just as a GIANT wave spun us around like a washing machine.” Throughout the adventure, Kobee is both a navigator and educator; additional facts and figures, boxed and labeled “Kobee’s Fun Facts,” supplement the manatee’s explanations of the weather phenomena that the trio encounters. The book also tells its young audience, in text that doesn’t talk down to them, how to protect themselves in a thunderstorm, how storms rotate depending on the hemisphere they occupy, and how to identify different types of clouds: “white, wispy” cirrus, “creamy cotton” cumulus, and cirrocumulus resembling “fish scales.” Readers also learn of the two types of waterspouts (tornadic and fair weather), why the sky is blue, the difference between Fahrenheit and Celsius, and that “a raindrop falls at an average speed of 17 miles per hour.” Despite the book’s encyclopedic quality, however, it’s a charming, simple story. The illustrations, rendered in colorful acrylic on illustration board, harmonize nicely with the active text, mixing real-world and fantasy elements in lavish sky and ocean settings.

An appealing picture book distinguished by its colorful images, creatively distilled meteorological facts, and simple but dynamic storytelling.

Review is for Book 2:  A Wild Weather Adventure

~Kirkus Reviews


Sarah Stewart

This vibrantly illustrated and amusing adventure will make learning about weather feel incidental.

With stunning images accompanying an adventurous tale that teaches young readers interesting weather and geographical facts, Kobee Manatee: A Wild Weather Adventure is a delight.

Kobee and his seafaring pals are on a voyage across the Gulf Stream to surprise his sister Kim for her birthday in her home waters of Nassau. They know the three hundred mile journey will be risky—it’s hurricane season after all—but they are brave and tenacious and so decide to give it a try. Using cloud formations to predict the weather and traversing several climates, aquatic features, and sometimes perilous weather events, the friends stick together through both storms and sunny skies.

Lauren Gallegos’ lush and vibrant illustrations make the book truly special. Her bold colors and dynamic scenes bring to life all of the adorable characters and their surroundings. The hurricane-plagued seas truly feel violent, while the waters of Blue Lagoon feel calm and bathtub-warm. Kobee and his friends are emotive and lively.

Though rooted in scientific teaching and dense with weather and water facts, this is an amusing story that will make learning feel incidental. Each scene features a sidebar called “Kobee’s Fun Facts” that offers a bigger breadth of learning for older readers, such as definitions of weather phenomena and an explanation of Fahrenheit and Celsius. While most of these facts line up with the story’s plot points, a few feel a little out of place and thus inconsistent. But this is a small matter in an otherwise wonderful volume that is highly recommended for weather watchers of all ages.

Review is for Book 2:  A Wild Weather Adventure


Mamta MadhavanIn

In Kobee Manatee: A Wild Weather Adventure by Robert Scott Thayer, Kobee and his pals are anticipating a rough journey on the Atlantic Ocean as they plan to surprise Kobee Manatee’s sister Kim for her birthday. Kim lives in the Bahamas and their journey is during the hurricane season. Will Kobee and his friends Tess, the sea horse, and Pablo, the hermit crab, travel safely and reach Nassau in the Bahamas three hundred miles away where Kim lives?

It’s a storybook filled with an exciting adventure and Kobee’s fun facts are very useful, informative and educational for young readers. The story also connects readers beautifully with the ocean and teaches them a few things about the weather. The illustrations are colorful and lively and add to the appeal of the storybook. They also add pace and movement to the story. Each scene has something to do with the ocean and the weather, and the fun facts give clarity to the author’s words. The book will make a good bedtime storybook and it can also be used for read aloud sessions in classrooms and school libraries.

The author does an excellent job of weaving educational matter and story together to give children an adventurous storybook that sees them going on an exciting trip with Kobee, Tess and Pablo. The different moods of the sea are indeed very interesting to read as the trio travels to the Bahamas. It’s definitely worth having in one’s personal collection as the fun facts can be read again for reference.

Review is for Book 2:  A Wild Weather Adventure