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Reviewed by Kathy Golden for Readers' Favorite
Eager Ellis Explores by Aananda Verma is a wonderfully entertaining story about a newly hatched little fish named Ellis. Having laid her eggs, Ellis’s mother leaves them to hatch while she takes care of some necessary business before the little fish are born. But before the mother can return, Ellis hatches and sets out on her own quest to find her mother. This book is illustrated by Vineeta Dhillon, and the illustrations are so vivid and visual that to look upon them is to be right there in the underwater setting of the story. Practically every color in the rainbow and a primer box of crayons is employed to create the feeling that Ellis is traveling through an ocean filled with brightly-hued unique habitats and inhabitants.
Aananda Verma’s Eager Ellis Explores introduces children to a variety of sea creatures who have fun names and interact with Ellis in ways that will make these animals memorable and interesting to learn about. An engaging feature of this book is how the images and text are set up. The scenes where Eager Ellis is seen meeting and talking with the other sea creatures have no text on them at all. These drawings are like those of a calendar. Hence, children can get lost in viewing them and let their imaginations run wild and make up their own stories about the given illustrations. Below the pictures, the writing--detailing what is actually going on--is large and so easy to read. All in all, this book is such a delight, and kids will want to read it so they can dive into the ocean to meet Eager Ellis and all her friends for themselves.