Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of the Midwest Book Review:

pluto the starfish

Pluto The Starfish: An Undersea Tale for Children 1 to 101

by Bonnie M. Anderson
Illustrated by Malinda Raines

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478730408


It’s a beautiful day in the crystal blue waters surrounding Buck Island. This magical undersea world, with its glittering rainbow of colors and fine, sparkling sand, is home to Pluto the Starfish…but Pluto is feeling sad and confused. Many of his friends can swim gracefully and swiftly. Some can even breathe air and move about on land, and others are large and fierce-looking. But Pluto can’t even swim! It took him all day to move two feet in the sand near the coral reef. He believes he’s not even good enough to be considered dinner! Pluto wonders why he is so different.

Why can’t he do more things like most of the other underwater creatures? What is his purpose?

Luckily, Pluto has good friends-like Lewis the Lobster, Lolita the Latina Leatherback Turtle and Nancy the Nurse Shark-who teach him that everyone is important and wonderfully different. Pluto the Starfish is a charming, delightfully illustrated book that not only helps children discuss their feelings and fears but it also teaches respect and care for the spectacular and varied inhabitants of our waters. A must-read for children of all ages.


Pluto the Starfish: An Undersea Tale for Children 1 to 101 is a delightful children’s ocean allegory that stars special marine creatures in a search for life’s purpose and meaning. Pluto the Starfish is sad because he has no idea of his purpose in life. He is comforted by many different marine characters, including Lewis the Lobster, Nancy the Nurse Shark, Lolita the Latina Leatherback Turtle, Harriet the Humpback Whale, Konky the Conch, and even a human diver. Answering Pluto’s fear and sadness, Lewis the Lobster tells him: “You are the star of the ocean…You don’t have to swim… or be fast… or be furious…. or even be big. You are our star and you are humble, beautiful and kind. You are a good friend, too. That is your role and we respect and love you.” Pluto the Starfish is an entertaining and imaginative marine fantasy that encourages outside the box thinking while educating about many fascinating facts of marine biology. The expressive illustrations provide living, vivid background to every page of white text.

reviewed on the Fantasy/SciFi Shelf of MBR ]

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

Like all truly universal tales, chances are anyone who reads “Pluto the Starfish” will see aspects of themselves in the little guy who feels he doesn’t quite measure up to his underwater friends. But thanks to their kindness and wisdom, Pluto learns that everyone has something to contribute and that “we’re all here for a purpose.”
Apart from teaching little ones about our neighbors who live under the sea, Pluto also imparts lessons about why we must all look out for one another through charming characters, a touching story and illustrations so vivid they jump off the page.

– Amazon Reviewer Gail O’Neill

This is a great tale to encourage children and to show that while everyone has unique qualities and talents, everybody is important and of value. Personally, I found this story oozing with morale, but then this is my personal impression from the POV of an adult which is not the target group and therefore shouldn’t affect the rating of this book too much.

My son really loves the story of little Pluto and his friends, which shows that its simplicity combined with the beautiful pictures meet a child’s perception perfectly. He had a lot of questions regarding the different sea animals and their characteristics as well as each animal’s talent and worth. We had to interrupt reading several times to discuss the story’s details and the book kept us thinking for a long time. His detailed and lasting interest in this charming adventure show that Pluto the Starfish is a fascinating book sure to attract and inspire children.

– Goodreads Reviewer Elke

Book Trailer:

saturday self-published book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space every Saturday!

Self Publishing Advisor


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