The Big Adventures of Little O, by Leesa Hanna | Dedicated Review
The Children’s Book Review | January 2, 2020
Written and Illustrated by Leesa Hanna
Age Range: 8+
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: FriesenPress (October 1, 2019)
What to expect: Life Lessons, Ocean Life, Circle of Life, and Nature
As much of a story about the circle of life as it is a meditation on the natural world, The Big Adventures of Little O highlights how one person can change the world. “It takes one single seed to grow a forest.”
Things in the ocean are changing quickly, and Little O and his pod are hungry. The orcas usually feed on salmon at this time of year, but the salmon have not shown up. Little O is still only learning to catch fish when he gets separated from his wise Mama due to the sound of a passing ship. An epic adventure takes place as he seeks to find both salmon and Mama. Imminent threats of hunger, the dreaded orca (known as The Pirate), and never seeing his mama again loom.
Leesa Hanna has managed to pack a lot into this engaging little chapter book. Encounters with a porpoise, an otter, a heron, and a girl and her dog propel the story along. These friends that Little O meets on his journey are a bright selection of fascinating characters that provide wisdom, help, and kindness. A resonating moment begins when Little O meets Ruby and her dog Hector out on a boat—readers will learn how the lack of salmon is affecting humans, too. Magical moments of mysticism creep in as Little O begins dreaming of Mother Nature, allowing him to understand what it means to follow his heart and be himself. With this in mind, and the life lessons Little O is learning through his new friends and his experience fending for himself, he begins to come into his own. There are color illustrations scattered throughout the pages, providing further connection between the readers and the lovely prose.
“A rocky ledge is home to the boneless tendrils of hundreds of anemones. Their pastel bodies cling to the stone walls, flittering and flopping with the current. Jeweled starfish mold their bodies to the speckled rocks. Swarms of fish dash about. It is a bustling rainbow of life.”
Filled with a little danger, a little sadness, and plenty of life lessons, this chapter book is bound to appeal to readers interested in the natural world.
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About the Author
Leesa Hanna is a writer and artist living in Port Moody, British Columbia. Inspired by the natural beauty of the West Coast of Canada, she works in many different mediums to parlay her thoughts—but the theme of her work remains the same; humankind’s connection to nature and to mother earth.
With passion and commitment, she has written poetry, drawn and painted for most of her life.
She has recently completed writing and illustrating her first children’s chapter book, ‘The BIG Adventures of Little O – A song for the salmon.’, a nature/fantasy novel, which portrays young ocean and forest creatures of the Pacific Northwest as they find kinship to mother nature while striving to survive and thrive in their changing environment. This book was longlisted for the CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers.) Writing for Children Competition 2019. It is also included in the White Pines Collection at the Port Moody Library.
Leesa has had poetry published by the on-line magazine, ‘the Story Quilt’, and continues to share her poetry through her @littleheartfish Instagram feed.
For more information on her book and other artistic endeavors, see her website and Instagram links.
Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. This non-biased review of The BIG Adventures of Little O was sponsored by Leesa Hanna. Learn more about getting a book review …