Aqualicious

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Aqualicious Book Poster Image
Pinkalicious helps mini-mermaid get home in cute beach tale.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows common beach activities: collecting seashells, building a sand castle, surfing, sailing a sailboat. Shows elements of a seaside setting: a lighthouse, sailboats, surfers, palm trees, seagulls, underwater creatures (fish, crab, eels, sharks). Shows readers what an aquarium is.

Positive Messages

Be helpful when someone's lost. Home is not always where you think it would be. It's fun to go to the aquarium. It's fun to go to the beach and see what you can discover.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Pinkalicious is curious, kind, and fun-loving. Peter is helpful and saves Aqua from getting eaten by a seagull by throwing a mussel at it, which it opens its mouth to eat instead. The siblings play nicely together. The parents kindly take their kids on a fun outing to the beach, and though they snooze through the first part of the story, then deliver Aqua back to her home, the aquarium.

Violence & Scariness

Aqua is briefly swooped up by a seagull and seen dangling from its beak. But she's quickly saved when the gull opens its mouth to eat a mussel Peter throws to it, and she falls in soft sea grass.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Victoria Kann's Aqualicious is part of the color-themed picture book series that began with Pinkalicious. In this installment, main character Pinkalicious finds a mini-mermaid on the beach. Pinkalicious and her little brother, Peter, help get the creature back to her home -- after playing with her all day. It's a fun, light romp that will appeal to fans of the series and new readers, who don't need to have read the other books to enjoy this one.

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What's the story?

Pinkalicious goes to the beach with her family, and while her parents snooze on the sand, she discovers a tiny, fit-in-your-hand mermaid -- a member of a species called merminnies -- inside a seashell. Aqua says she'd like to go home, so Pinkalicious and her brother, Peter, build her an elaborate sand castle. But Aqua tells them she needs to be underwater. They plop her in a cup of water, grab lunch, go miniature golfing, take her surfing, and eventually drop her off a sailboat into the sea, where she's afraid of the sharks, eels, and crabs. "This is not my home!" she yells. They take her back to their beach blanket, where their now-awake parents explain that Aqua is a famous attraction at the nearby seaside aquarium. (Aqua admits she sneaks out to the beach once in a while to "see what I can discover.") They return her there and watch her through the glass tank as she happily rides a seahorse.

Is it any good?

This story plays with a pretty irresistible concept: discovering a miniature mermaid on the beach and playing with her all day. And Pinkalicious does conclude, "Today was truly Aqualicious!" But there's not much to the story beyond going from activity to activity, and Pinkalicious doesn't use any magic this time, as she did in the previous Emeraldicious. Still, kids should find it a fun adventure with bright, engaging computer-enhanced art.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about mermaids. Do you think they're real? Do you like imagining there's a species of merminnies? What would you do if you found a merminnie?

  • What's fun about the Pinkalicious series? How does this book compare with others in the series that you've read?

  • Try thinking up a story that involves your favorite color and draw a picture to go with your story.

Book details

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