A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Provides an opportunity to discuss animal rights, zoos, and marine theme parks.
Friends can work together to achieve goals that benefit all.
Positive Role Models
Brave, resourceful, and compassionate Sophia works with her aquatic pals to gain freedom for all.
Sophia has light brown skin, thanks either to genetics or the sun. The crowds at Aqualand are racially mixed.
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Violence & Scariness
The Aquanaut is chased by security guards. The book opens with a scary shipwreck.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Aquanaut is a fantasy graphic novel written and illustrated by Dan Santat, Caldecott-winning author of The Adventures of Beekle and illustrator of many picture books. It tells the story of orphaned girl Sophia and her deceased relative's deep-sea diving suit that walks out of the ocean -- powered by a crab, two octopuses, and a sea turtle -- and a San Diego theme park called Aqualand. There's slapstick violence and a somewhat scary shipwreck.
Is It Any Good?
Sometimes it takes only one clever idea to launch a comic, and the setup for this graphic novel is a winner. Creator Dan Santat takes a ridiculous idea and makes it work marvelously, as ocean creatures inhabit a diving suit to rescue a theme park's captive marine life. High-energy hijinks ensue, all choreographed for maximum laughs. Few readers will be able to resist the over-the-top action and heart-tugging quieter moments.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.