Captain Starfish (Hardcover)
A story about one child's struggle with anxiety... relatable, even as an adult! A must-read!
— From Staff Picks by Isabel
New York Public Library's Children's Books: 100 Books for Reading and Sharing
Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) Choices
ILA CBC Children's Choices List
A quiet boy with anxiety learns to shine in this award-winning picture book that celebrates introversion
Alfie wants to participate in the best parts of being a kid, from his friend Antoinette’s birthday party to the relay races at school. But his shyness keeps him from engaging. When Alfie wakes up with That Feeling on the morning of yet another big event—the underwater costume parade—his mom takes him to the aquarium.
There, Alfie meets a starfish who shines so boldly Alfie feels small. But suddenly, a tiny clownfish swims up to Alfie for a quick hello and retreats again. Alfie begins to understand that there’s a happy medium between hiding away and being the star, and that he needs to come out of hiding every once and awhile to make meaningful connections.
About the Author
Davina Bell is a writer from Western Australia. For six years she was a senior editor at Penguin Books in the Young Readers Division. Davina lives and works in Melbourne.
Allison Colpoys is a designer and the illustrator of many books for children, including Abrams’ Captain Starfish. She lives in Melbourne, Australia.
"Colpoys’s stylish, silkscreen-style illustrations use contrasting shades of sea green, deep blue, and bright pink to represent both the real world and Alfie’s rich interior life."
— Publishers Weekly
"Alfie's success, aided by loving and patient parents, provides a model for children struggling with anxiety and assures them of their ultimate worth and capability. This gentle story ably helps fill a need in children's literature and will help comfort small audiences with their own big fears."
— Kirkus Reviews
"The unconditional acceptance of Alfie’s parents makes this book unique and may prove assuring to children of similar character. An excellent choice for one-on-one sharing."
— School Library Journal
"Learning to be brave can take time, and readers will empathize with Alfie’s slow progress toward that goal."
Raw, gritty and acutely tuned to his community, Matt Mendez' debut blends authenticity with poignancy, heartbreak with heartfelt, this emotionally true contemporary story about 2 El Paso teens and a mom of one of the boys, will keep you riveted and engaged. Comparisons to Jason Reynolds, Matt de la Pena and Angie Thomas are accurate but Mendez is a break out star to be watched. This wallop of a tale should be handed to high school kids en masse. - Maureen