In Eileen Wacker’s seventh installation of the Fujimini Adventure Series, all the beloved animals of the island are buzzing with excitement. It is the grand opening of the new Fujilimini Island Swim and Surf school, and everyone is busy getting ready for the big day. Everything is going great, until news of a Kappa arrival hits the shore. A Kappa is a creature that can be found in Japanese folklore. Another name for the mythical creature is a “river-child”. The potential arrival of a Kappa is worrisome for the occupants of Fujimini Island because they are known for their naughty, mischievous behavior and tricks. However, the Blue Penguin is set out to impress with his surfing skills and does not want anything to get in the way of his perfect plan- including a Kappa- so he ignores the warnings and proceeds with his opening. And, of course, the Kappa does arrive to make some trouble, but the Blue Penguin is too busy showing off to notice. So when Silver Bunny goes missing, all the animals on the island will have to ban together to figure out a solution.
This book provides humor and demonstrates valuable lessons as well as integrates elements of Asian culture and folklore. The author’s use of a Kappa is not only culturally significant but also very creative and unique, especially when it comes to children’s literature. Not only does the book teach a valuable lesson of the potentially negative effects of being a show-off (in the case of the Blue Penguin), it also demonstrates the value of teamwork, second chances, and peaceful conversation when trying to solve a difficult problem, rather than resorting to anger or violence.
In addition to the book on paper, you can also bring the story to life through the DVD, featuring George Takei as the voice of the Blue Penguin. The DVD is an excellent way to draw children into the story, through both words and visuals. The voices are fun and fitting for the characters, which makes it even more enjoyable to watch. The use of animated books unites the learning reading provides with the fun pictures and sounds give. Overall, the DVD was extremely well done and an awesome addition to the Fujimini Adventure Series. I would recommend it to anyone looking to encourage a reluctant reader to become more interested in what books can offer. With the new additions of Ebooks and Books on DVD, a whole new window of learning opportunity is opened and hopefully will draw in many more little reading lovers.