Have you ever moved to a new place, started a new job, changed schools, and felt friendless, on the outside, alone? Then you know how Joy the Jellyfish feels. She’s so small, shy, and transparent she feels no one sees her or knows her. She just wants a friend. So she sets off on a journey to find one.
Joy smiles at the sea creatures she meets, but no one seems to notice her or want to be her friend. Then she enters icy waters and is befriended by Bella Beluga. Bella helps Joy see she has to be a friend to have a friend. She tells Joy “a true friend sees you from the inside out.“ They become friends and Bella guides Joy back to her home in the Great Barrier Reef. Bella can’t stay, but leaves Joy with the prediction that “new friends await you now that you know the secret to true friendship.”
Joy the Jellyfish author Kristen Collier has written a story that applies across all ages. This is a timeless message that we must learn over and over again. We shouldn’t wait for people to come to us. To be a friend means to seek out others who may feel left out, alone, or shy. If we put ourselves out to and for others, we’ll be rewarded with friendship. Being a friend means being open to others, taking the first step, risking exposure to share the glow of love and friendship like Joy.
Joy the Jellyfish is playfully illustrated by Kevin Collier. His sea critters are fun to see and quite expressive. We have no doubt what they are feeling in each picture. Children, parents, and teachers can easily relate to the sweet message of the book and to the joyful and pleasing images on each page.