Gilbert the Great White Shark is used to living with Raymond the Remora attached by a sucker to his side. Remoras have a close relationship with their sharks and nibble away the parasites on their bodies. So it is a shock when Raymond disappears rather suddenly. This picture book deals sensitively with the importance of friendship and how you cope when you lose a friend.
Fuge’s distinctive sharp line and vibrant hues show a fascinating underwater world with enough detail to intrigue a young child. The visual jokes will be appreciated by children familiar with cartoon genres: my group of five-year-olds laughed at the clown fish at the coral reef raising limpet shell hats. The same gentle humour pervades the written text: Gilbert and Raymond play ‘finball’ and ‘tide and seek’. A playful approach is underpinned by deeper themes, themes well worth talking about; I recommend the book warmly for nursery and Reception class children.