The Jellyfish Monster by Bryan Kwasnik, with illustrations by Jackie Hahn, is a sweet good-natured children’s book about Billy, who’s playing at the shoreline and comes upon a jellyfish creatures with arms and legs who he dubs the Jellyfish Monster. The Jellyfish Monster takes Billy on a journey through the undersea world, where sea life acts a lot like humans, and Billy gets to participate in things like a shark race, and getting swallowed by a whale.
The illustrations are professionally-done and full of detail, though they could have done with a splash of color to make them as lively as the cover of the book. The strongest element of the book is its spirit of adventure. Though Billy encounters some intimidating creatures, he’s never overly scared, and approaches everything with a positive sense of exploration.
The weakness in the book is that it might fall between two chairs for younger readers. Though the story itself is appropriate for readers 6 and below, the prose is a bit more complicated for that age range, so the book either needed more illustrations to keep younger readers engaged, or change the episodic nature of the story to be more plot-based.
Even with these issues, children just learning to read will enjoy this story. The book has just enough illustrations to spark a new reader’s imagination, and the fun and colorful descriptions will make readers want to revisit this undersea world for another adventure.