#BookReview: Neil, the Boring Amazing Sea Cucumber, Amelia McInerney (author), Lucinda Gifford (illus.), Affirm Press, April 2023.

Look! I’ve found Neil! Oh wait, it might be Sandra. The identity of this little cucumber may be unknown, but we’re here to explore the identity of the real Neil – the star of the bottom of the ocean in Neil, the Boring Amazing Sea Cucumber.

Neil is not actually a star (fish) but rather, a sea cucumber. A boring, slow moving, lost and lonely sea cucumber. He may not be cool like other marine animals (well, actually he is – he’s a cucumber!), but as soon as you meet him you will absolutely fall in love with this unlikely hero who teaches us all a lesson in self-acceptance, and love.

How far, and fast, would you go to find your one true soulmate? Amelia McInerney’s sea cucumber directly narrates us through this hilarious mockumentary-style speech with deadpan humour and ‘pickly’ puns, where Neil continually doubts his literary stardom and whether he’ll ever see his Sandra again. Brilliantly characterised by Lucinda Gifford, Neil is captured in frame by inching-forward frame as he crawls in search of his long-lost friend, only to be mistaken when he finally makes it across the seabed (and watch out for the epic danger!). Will Neil and Sandra reunite, and will Neil realise just how important his role in the sand really is?

The expressions on his melancholy face are completely delicious. The cool and warm ocean tones and tiny details are entirely captivating. The gold accents on the cover are suitably magnificent. Gifford’s illustrations and McInerney’s text couldn’t be more delectably perfect together – just as their sea cucumber counterparts are a match made in ocean heaven.  

This is the BEST book for getting yourself into a pickle. Laugh-out-loud comedy, slow-paced high-impact action adventure, and romance. What else could young marine biologists and lovers of unusual sea heroes want in a picture book?!

Review by Romi Sharp.

From the publisher:

Hello. I’m Neil. I’m a sea cucumber. It’s a bit strange that I’m the star of this book. Usually books are about the cool sea creatures.

And I’m boring, even for a sea cucumber.

‘Nothing exciting ever happens to me.

At least, it hasn’t before now …

With deadpan text and hilarious illustrations, this is a fabulous story about a very unlikely hero and one epic adventure.’

Purchase Neil, the (Boring) Amazing Sea Cucumber.

Read our interview with Amelia McInerney here.

#neiltheamazingseacucumber #friendship #optimism #selfperception #humour #picturebook

One thought to “#BookReview: Neil, the (Boring) Amazing Sea Cucumber by Amelia McInerney and Lucinda Gifford”

  • Norah

    It does sound like a fun book.


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