The Blobfish Book by Jessica Olien


Publisher: Balzer + Bray (May 17, 2016)
ISBN: 978-0062394156
Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3rd
Lexile Measure: 560
Starred Review: School Library Journal
My Goodreads Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary and Thoughts:  If you are looking for an engaging informational read, then look no further! Jessica Olien injects humor into this book about the creatures that live in the deepest parts of the sea.  The author uses a combination of photography and cartoonish artwork in this informative metafiction book.

Blobfish, who very much wants to be the main character of this book, enthusiastically interjects himself into all pages.  He eagerly awaits his turn to hear about his species, only to find out that Blobfish are considered one of the ugliest creatures ever! The dispirited Blobfish gets a little help from his deep sea friends to remind him that looks are not everything and how special he is.

I read this book, along with fictional works, for a family storytime and the kids loved it!  I had several children request it.  I am really happy when I have the opportunity to incorporate some nonfiction works into my storytime.


Nonfiction Read-alikes (similar subject matter)

  • Pink is for Blobfish: Discovering the World’s Perfectly Pink Animals by Jess Keating
  • National Geographic Kids: Weird Sea Creatures by Laura Marsh
  • If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams
  • Sea Turtles by Kari Schuetz
  • Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea by Steve Jenkins

Fiction Read-alikes (funny metafiction)

  • Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka
  • Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham
  • There Are No Cats in This Book by Viviane Schwartz
  • Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to be in This Book) by Julie Falatko
  • Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett

Want more information about deep sea creatures for kids?  Check out this National Geographic video:


3 thoughts on “The Blobfish Book by Jessica Olien

  1. Hi Tara, What a great way to enliven a nonfiction title! I never thought about using it for a storytime, but you have convinced me. I’m curious if you used any other titles during this storytime. What age range were the children? We have tried to host family storytimes, but the age range was so wide it was very difficult. Did you have a craft or project?


    • HI Suzanne, I read this book in conjunction with Bob Shea’s I’m a Shark book for our LEGO club. LEGO club at my library is for children 6-12 years old but we do get some younger siblings too. I usually read a book or two, then announce the LEGO building theme that I have written and illustrated on a dry-erase board. For this instance, the theme was “under the sea”. I have the kids brainstorm theme ideas, in which they share with all of us, and then we build!


  2. Great job! I don’t know if you’ve seen them, but the books in The Cat in The Hat’s Learning Library are fantastic with factual info and a similarly whimsical feel. Some of the related titles about sealife are Hark, A Shark, Wish for a Fish, A Whale of a Tale. Children who enjoyed Blobfish would certainly enjoy these books. I covered Hark, a Shark! in one of my blog postings. Here is the link 🙂

    Giant Squid by Candace Fleming is a great under the sea adventure too, but it is more serious in tone. National Geographic Kids also has many great titles for children on marine life!

    I enjoyed your description and I will definitely check out this book!


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