Kelly DiPucchio

Book - 2021

Oona and her best friend Otto love to search for treasure...and often find trouble instead. Messy trouble. Tricky trouble. Even shark-related trouble. That's never stopped them before, though! After all, no proper treasure hunt is without some adventure. But when the grandest treasure yet is stuck in a deep, dark rift, Oona's not sure if she can dive right in. What might be waiting for her in those unknown waters?

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Bookmobile Children's Show me where

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Children's Room Show me where

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Bookmobile Children's jE/DiPucchio Due Apr 29, 2024
Children's Room jE/Dipucchi Checked In
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Action and adventure fiction
Picture books
New York, NY : Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2021]
Main Author
Kelly DiPucchio (author)
Other Authors
Raissa Figueroa (illustrator)
First edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Ages 4-8.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Oona is a little mermaid who's the very definition of intrepid. She loves to hunt for deep sea treasure (which readers will recognize as humans' lost and discarded items) with her sidekick, Otto the otter; in one funny scene, they chill on the ocean floor wearing chic human sunglasses that they've scavenged--cat eyes for Oona, aviators for Otto. But the big prize that Oona is after is an "extra sparkly" crown she's spotted, wedged into a corner of the ocean. Does she have the patience and ingenuity to extract it? Despite DiPucchio's (Grace Goes to Washington) concise and sprightly text, the storytelling loses some of its drive as Oona's quest encounters requisite setbacks, and the life lesson wrap-up ("Because sometimes the best treasure in the world isn't found. It's made") feels unnecessary. But the digital illustrations by Figueroa (Sophie and Little Star) are a true wonder of the deep, with compositions worthy of full-length animated features, and a palette of radiant, translucent greens, blues, and magentas. Brown-skinned Oona, who wears a magnificent Afro studded with bioluminescent wisps, floats through the ocean exuding the kind of upbeat confidence that should have readers asking for more. Ages 4--8. Author's agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. Illustrator's agent: Natascha Morris, BookEnds Literary. (Jan.)

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Review by School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2--Deep in the ocean fantasy depths lives a mermaid. "Sweet, and a little bit salty," Oona has grown up curious and brave from her earliest years as a treasure hunter of the rift where land breaks away and waves collide in strong ocean currents. Watery images highlight plants, ocean creatures, and her repurposed treasures with shades of filtered light while Oona swims, her Black Afro at its fullest and tail swishing in graceful arcs with her sea otter best friend. Challenging the illuminated eyes watching below, Oona has found something better than common "keys, coins, buttons, and bottles." A sparkly crown rests amid lobster crates, rocks, and planks of sunken ships. Digital art reflects the fluid, dark depths of the deep ocean fissure and panicked faces of creatures caught in its grip, as the rift itself keeps watch over Oona's futile effort to grab the ultimate treasure. "You can keep your dumb crown," she shouts--"I quit!" With Oona's break from her hunt, images focus on the little mermaid isolated in small vignettes, as she tries to regain her "spark." A pair of found glasses becomes treasure-hunting goggles, and the scary rift is forgotten with the singing of friendly whales. VERDICT A recommended first purchase for all libraries and useful for social emotional learning, this title celebrates independence, self-confidence, and bravery to try the new even after defeat as Oona becomes aware of the true treasure in her personal effort.--Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano I.S.D., TX

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

A young Black mermaid goes after a treasure but learns an important lesson along the way. Oona is "sweet," a little "salty," and "brave and curious, like most treasure hunters." Since she was a baby, she has gotten into adventures chasing treasure. But now she has Otto, her rescue otter pup, to come along for the ride. The one special treasure Oona can't figure out how to obtain is a crown wedged tightly into a rift. She tries three times to get the crown unstuck--the artistic but vague language and pictures make it difficult to see exactly how--but when she is struck on the head by a ship's plank, she gives up on the crown and on treasure hunting altogether. Oona pursues other interests. She naps. She draws in the sand. She hangs out with her "land friends"--two White children. But Oona is "missing her spark." Then a seashell washes ashore, and she gets a new idea. Some ingenuity and invention and encouragement from friends become the keys to her success. Oona is an adorable protagonist, with her dark skin, enormous Afro, and striped, orange tail. With her ups and downs and her fundamental ebullience, she will easily win fans. While the details of her obstacles and problem-solving methods are not quite clear, the messages of persistence and of valuing the work of one's own creation are strong and effective. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 52% of actual size.) A small heroine young readers will be happy to meet. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.