Kobee Manatee and his seafaring pals, Tess the seahorse and Pablo the hermit crab are swimming from the Cayman Islands to Belize to help his cousin Quinn clean up plastic litter at her new, all-veggie underwater bistro called Quinn’s Seagrass Café. On their Caribbean journey, they encounter harmful effects of climate change and plastic pollution, along with several other unforeseen problems – a distressed loggerhead turtle, a giant Portuguese man-of-war, and a venomous scorpionfish. Then the friends discover the amazing Great Blue Hole. Their adventure takes another surprising turn when Pablo plunges into its huge abyss! Can Kobee and his buddies save Pablo?
Read on for an interview with Robert Scott Thayer.
Q: What inspired your story?
A: This is my fourth installment in the Kobee Manatee® Children’s Educational Picture Book series and this title’s focus is on climate change. Hearing all the sobering news on record-breaking temperatures, sea level rise, stronger hurricanes, more intense wild fires and longer droughts, I wanted to have our youngest generation become more aware of the environment around them and how they can play an important role in the climate change solution.
Q: How does a new story idea come to you? Is it an event that sparks the plot or a character speaking to you?
A: Stories come to me as a result of my interest in manatees, the oceans, earth sciences, geography, and climate change. It’s definitely the protagonist, Kobee Manatee® who speaks to me as we decide which next adventurous voyage to tackle.
Q: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
A: I’d have to say the most surprising thing I learned in creating each title to the series is the amount of time each title takes to complete. With my writing, the 30 plus edited drafts, and my illustrator’s rendering of each brilliant spread, bringing the characters to life, I’m looking at 2 to 3 years to complete each installment.
Purchase your copy of Kobee Manatee: Climate Change and The Great Blue Hole Hazard here.
Robert Scott Thayer is passionate about manatees, weather, and the oceans. He is the author of the award-winning Kobee Manatee® Children’s Educational series. Robert is also a recording artist who writes and sings in the pop, jazz, and children’s genres. Thayer has won several International Music Awards including those from Billboard. Robert’s music is available on iTunes. “Kobee’s Song” was produced by Grammy award winner Jim Cravero. Thayer received a degree from Temple University in Philadelphia. He is a member of the Author’s Guild, SCBWI, and BMI. Learn more at kobeemanatee.com.