The Adventures of Oliver the Clownfish: Acting Cool

(26 customer reviews)


Peer pressure, being yourself, and true friendship 

Oliver wants to look cool in front of his friends. He isn’t sure if he should be friends with Dolly, a dolphin who looks different. Oliver learns the true meaning of friendship, and the relative unimportance of physical appearance in choosing valued friends. This publication has been honored with a Dove Award for family friendliness. This second edition contains the popular 10 Things You Might Not Know About a Dolphin and a Parenting Sandbar giving parents tools to assist their child with peer pressure.

26 reviews for The Adventures of Oliver the Clownfish: Acting Cool

  1. Mason Canyon (verified owner)

    Teaching youngsters the importance of friendship can sometimes be a challenge when they are more concerned with being cool.

    Author Stephanie Guzman has written a charming tale that will aid parents in dealing with this matter. In the second installment in her delightful Oliver the Clownfish series, Guzman tackles the issue of acting cool.

    Oliver a clownfish, and his friend Paul, a puffer, meet their new neighbor Dolly, a dolphin. They notice Dolly’s body is covered in neon shapes, but don’t say anything. The three quickly become friends and spend the last two weeks of summer playing together.

    On the first day of school, Oliver and Paul join their friend Sally, a seahorse. When Sally makes fun of Dolly’s appearance, they agree with her hurting Dolly’s feelings. In time Oliver finally stands up for his new friend. The four realize forming new friendships is more important than acting cool.

    THE ADVENTURES OF OLIVER THE CLOWNFISH: ACTING COOL is both entertaining and educational. The beautiful glossy illustrations by TD will capture youngsters’ attention as they quickly turn the page to see what happens next.

    Guzman has created an inspiring series that helps youngsters learn how to deal with difficult situations. She uses her skills as a Reading Specialist to entertain youngsters while they learn. The series is geared toward youngsters ages 6 to 8, but all ages will enjoy it.

  2. Sam Freene (verified owner)

    Circles are cool they are round; they have no beginning and no end. Circles are part of rings, basketball hoops and even the shape of balls. That’s cool! Triangles sometimes mean that a road sign is coming up and we need to slow down or stop. Rectangles and squares are really neat. Some are the shape of windows or doors; others are the shape of boxes or even our cell phones. Each shape is different and no two are really the same. That’s what makes them unique and special. Imagine if everyone we meet looked the same, had the same color eyes, hair and face, wouldn’t that be kind of boring. Our differences are what makes each one of us special, who we are and our own person. Meet Oliver a really handsome orange and white striped clownfish who lives with his family and friends on Whale Watch Lane. Oliver is usually kind, friendly and loves to meet new fish. Paul and Sally are his two best friends that he plays and goes to school with everyday. Paul is really cute. He is beige with grayish fins and cool beige and white spiky things on his back and sides. But, the coolest thing is about to happen and you won’t believe it! A really pretty Dolphin named Dolly is coming to live in their neighborhood and she has her own style and her own look. Dolly is blue with blonde hair just like me and she is really pretty. Dolly is not your typical Dolphin she is covered in geometric shapes that look really neat. She has rectangles, squares, triangles and circles all over her making her a geometric Dolphin. She is smart, pretty and just wants to be accepted by her fellow fish.

    Paul and Oliver swim over to meet their new neighbor and immediately find out that they are going to be in the same class at Fish Tale Elementary School. Even better they have some real fund and start playing together. Imagine having fun playing ring around the starfish and many other games including catch the seashell. Sounds like fun. But, not everyone is tolerant, understanding or kind when they meet someone that they think is different. Sometimes even people or in this case fish that are you friend one minute are influenced by someone else and decide that they do not want to be your friend. Wait until you meet Sally and learn what she says that is really not very nice and I hope will not stop you from being Dolly’s friend.


On the first day of school you know how it is everyone says hi to everyone and asks about your summer vacation and then school begins. Well, fish are not any different but when Sally, the seahorse, who is not a clownfish like Paul or Oliver, and if she bothered to realize it might notice she is different too, meets Dolly, things begin to change. Sally says some things that are not really nice about Dolly and decides that she is not going to be her friend because of the way she looks, as she will explain on page 13 to anyone who reads her words and will listen. Unfortunately, both Oliver and Paul decided to not think for themselves but to be influenced by Sally and decided not to be Dolly’s friend any more. How sad!

    There is much more as school beings and poor Dolly feels left out and instead of thinking for himself Oliver goes along with Paul and Sally even though he really wants to still be Dolly’s friend. Dolly is sad and who can blame her as author Stephanie Guzman allows readers to hear her words and understand how sad she feels. Just look at the picture on page 16 to know how Dolly really feels and those hurtful words can make someone feel so sad and alone. But, Dolly does not give up and she goes home and prays that things will change. Oliver looks deep within him and realizes that what he did might not be so nice and listen to his thoughts along with Dolly’s on page 19. Children need to learn to be free thinkers and not be influenced or sidetracked by others when they know the right thing to do and the right way to act.

    Every one of these fish has a different appearance. Each one is a different color, has different attributes and personalities including Mr. Tang their teachers. Assigning their first project to collect shells and compare them each member of the class has to team with three others in order to complete the assignment. But, what happens when no one wants Dolly in his or her group? What happens when you have no choice and the teacher places Dolly in your group? What do you do? Oliver has to think long and hard and search within himself to find the answers? Just how this all splashes out and will they work together to collect shells you will have to find out for yourself? Will Sally and Paul realize that Dolly is a dolphin and lives in the water with them and she is special? Does it matter that she is covered in shapes? Does it matter that Paul and Oliver are clownfish and Sally is a Starfish who is quite different and looks nothing like the other three? Does being and acting cool mean that you have to hurt someone’s feelings because you think they are different and not like you? Will they complete the project and pass? Can two clownfish, one starfish and really pretty blonde and special Dolphin become friends? Read The Adventures of Oliver the Clownfish and find out for yourself.


Author Stephanie Guzman brings to light many important issues in this beautifully illustrated book by TD. Non-readers can understand the story just by looking at the pictures and beginning readers will love this story and hopefully root for Dolly and even want to encourage Oliver to be her friend. This reminds everyone that prejudice is wrong and agreeing with other people just to please them is not the way to go. I think a fun project for kids would be to write letters or short notes to Dolly welcoming her to Fish Tale Elementary School and telling her about the fun things that happen there. It might even be fun to write notes to Oliver, Sally and Paul telling them that they need to look past her shapes and realize that she is special and just wants to be accepted like everyone else. Let’s hope that author Stephanie Guzman has some more adventures and for our four friends and that they team up and work together next time out. Acting Cool or Making A New Friend: Which is more important? Find out what Oliver decides and maybe write about what you think too. This is a great book for young readers and maybe even adults to read to understand that the world is made up of different people of many races, colors, nationalities and creeds and wouldn’t it be great if we all got along. So, let’s give this book: FIVE DIAMONDS FILLED WITH GOLD:MY FAVORITE SHAPE

  3. LindseyPopeWrites (verified owner)

    Oliver the Clownfish faces a dilemma many kids face at school – what should you do when your friends aren’t being nice? It’s hard not to cave into peer pressure. This book helps remind kids that maybe acting “cool” isn’t more important than being nice. I would recommend it for kids in the elementary school age bracket as hopefully it will help instill this important lesson that they can then carry into middle and high school.

  4. AtticusScoutJem (verified owner)

    Great Read! Highly Recommend This Book! *Colorful and engaging sea animals who also look forward to the first day of school. *Great topic for elementary students who can struggle with making not so nice decisions, even hurting friends, to be cool! *Beautiful illustrations. *Dolly doesn’t explain why she looks the way she does, she just says she can’t help it, which opens the floor to much debate by readers. *Great book for teaching about dialogue for readers and writers.

  5. C. Criswell (verified owner)

    Great Lesson to Learn Early! Oliver the Clownfish learns an important lesson about being kind and standing up to peer pressure. The book is written for elementary school aged students, but the message certainly is one that can be carried into the middle school years! It’s cool to be kind! I’ve read this book to my own children and the children in my classroom. In this new edition, the author provides great tips for parents to teach our children how to stand up to bullying and peer pressure, and the dolphin facts are a fun addition! I highly recommend adding Oliver the Clownfish to your children’s book collection!

  6. Erin Gellman (verified owner)

    Great way to educate children about accepting differences in other children and making friends! This is a great way to teach children about accepting others and standing up to bullying in a school environment. Great lesson for children to learn and the parent notes are helpful. All the books in the series are educational and I highly recommend reading these books with your children and discussing lessons learned from the book

  7. A. Kuchta (verified owner)

    Recommended by 3rd Graders!! My third graders highly recommend this book. They found this book easy to relate to with a topic that is relevant and real for them. They quickly identified the lesson that the author, Stephanie Guzman, shares. The students enjoyed both the story and the colorful illustrations with the realistic looking backgrounds. I especially loved how they were able to empathize with the characters. Before Oliver learned that it wasn’t cool to act cool, my students were passionately discussing that people should not be judged and disliked for the way they look. When Oliver stood up to Sally and Paul, my students cheered for him. They cannot wait to read the other books in this series!

  8. Gideon Twigg (verified owner)

    Teaches a Valuable Lesson in a Way that Kids Can UnderstandBoth of my daughters have loved this book. The bright illustrations and the fact that the characters are all sea creatures quickly grabbed their attention. I really appreciated that the book was another way to reinforce the importance of inclusivity and not judging people by their appearance. I feel like kids cannot hear that message enough. That being said, though, the book didn’t hit kids over the head with the message; it just told a story that kids could relate to and the meaning kind of became clear at the end. It also now has nonfiction information in the front of the book and questions after reading that you can talk about with your child (or your class if you are a teacher) as well.

  9. Tina/ Preschool Teacher/ PTA President (verified owner)

    Great Lesson for Kids in a Way They Can Relate! We have all the books in this collection. My children have loved these books since they were little. The author uses fun characters to teach important lessons. I love that she uses relatable situations for children of all ages to really understand. Not only does she explain the situations well and show a resolution she also gives added info in the book to help parents/teachers have conversations with their kids. They are great points to help parents/teachers who may not feel comfortable with the topic or know how to begin. It also helps them answer questions their kids may have. Bonus parts, she adds questions at the end to promote reading comprehension and fun facts about one of the characters that you may not have known, like dolphins! I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting the author. She is wonderful and has a great energetic personality that really captures kids’ attention. She definitely knows children well. I was the PTA President of my children’s elementary school and responsible for booking assemblies for the kids. Mrs. Guzman took time out of her busy schedule to visit our school in New Jersey. She presented for students in grades Kindergarten to 3rd grade and they absolutely loved her! The staff was also very impressed and she sold many copies of her books after that. Thank you!

  10. V and B Mags (verified owner)

    WOW!I’ve had the privilege of holding great conversation with the author, Stephanie Guzman. Her passion for educating children and writing about life lessons is not only appreciated but admirable as well. This particular book is perfect for my 5yo niece who tends to be a little “different” than her peers. I strongly encourage you to purchase this amazingly thought-out book, as it includes a parent guide and valuable mini-lessons!

  11. Keaton (verified owner)

    What is Popular Isn’t Always Right This is a great book showing kids that being kind and accepting people (or dolphins) for who they are is more important that being “cool.” Loved it! Read it with my 4 year old and he really enjoyed the bright colorful illustrations and agreed that he would love to have Dolly the Dolphin as a friend!

  12. Carli V (verified owner)

    What is Popular Isn’t Always Right! This is a great book showing kids that being kind and accepting people (or dolphins) for who they are is more important that being “cool.” Loved it! Read it with my 4 year old and he really enjoyed the bright colorful illustrations and agreed that he would love to have Dolly the Dolphin as a friend!

  13. Lindsey’s Favs (verified owner)

    A great book for children to learn what cruel social behaviors and peer pressure look like, and how children can stand up for themselves and others if they see this kind of behavior. This story follows Oliver and a few of his classmates as a new student, Dolly, starts school. One students tells the others that Dolly “looks funny” and no one would want to play with someone like that. This causes Oliver and others to ignore and exclude Dolly. Through prayer, Oliver and Dolly both find strength to address the situation and they all find a way to move forward and become friends. The discussion questions at the end, as well as information about peer pressure and fun dolphin facts make this a great resource for parents and teachers! I highly recommend this book to discuss this important topic!

  14. Tara (verified owner)

    This is a good book, especially for kids as they head back to school. There will be new kids and kids who are different. This book shows the right way to treat people, regardless of how they look. The illustrations are fun and playful. Children will enjoy this story.

  15. Diamond (verified owner)

    Great message and great illustrations! This is one that the grownups will enjoy as much as the kiddies. Really well done!

  16. RH (verified owner)

    I enjoyed “The Adventures of Oliver the Clownfish.” The illustrations are beautiful, bright, and pleasant–all perfect for young children. There are a number of educational tidbits included in the book, which an adult could use as a teaching tool while they read the story to a child. And the lesson is a good one. Although I thought the lesson came a bit too easily for the characters, overall, I appreciated the story. A sweet book, which also encourages children to pray about their problems. A gem!

  17. Julie’s Reads (verified owner)

    This book not only teaches your children about peer pressure and bullying, but has a sandbar for parents in preventing, confronting and keeping your children safe from peer pressure and from becoming a bully, themselves. It also has Q&A at the end to help them verbalize, recognize and empathize with the story and real-life situations.

  18. Julie Pánková (verified owner)

    I think most of us don’t even realize that this problem is common with adults too. We judge someone before we speak to them because of what people around us are saying. I love how it’s done for kids because they will get from this more that when we just “told them”. Great book, with awesome art. I have to say that even for my age the story was entertaininging!!

  19. Andy White (verified owner)

    The book revolves around the adventures of Oliver the Clownfish delves deep into the themes of peer pressure, being yourself, and true friendship. A gentle reminder that true friendships are based on acceptance, understanding, and being true to ourselves.

  20. TD (verified owner)

    Sometimes simple stories are just what children need in order to learn some of life’s lessons. In this well illustrated book, kids can learn the value of true friendship over peer pressure. If our youngsters can also learn to embrace diversity, think of how much better and healthier our planet would be! Well done!

  21. MOMO (verified owner)

    The story is well-written and engaging. The plot is easy to follow, and the characters are well-developed. The book is also full of humor, which makes it a fun and enjoyable read.

  22. masha menefy (verified owner)

    An easy-to-read story, with fun colorful characters.

  23. Mitchell Waldman & Diana May-Waldman (verified owner)

    This is a nice picture book with nice illustrations that is entertaining and carries a good lesson for kids.

  24. M.W. (verified owner)

    Great story about staying true to yourself in the face of peer pressure. The characters are fun and relatable.

  25. jyothsna (verified owner)

    A sweet story of kindness and acceptance. Loved the narration of the story. Loved the cute illustrations in the book. Highly recommended.

  26. P. Kendall (verified owner)

    I like the way that the illustrations were composed of real photos with drawn characters over them. And the story is sweet with a message, so what’s not to like?

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *