Finding Dory: Three Little Words


  • Three Little Words
  • written by Amy Novesky
  • illustrated by Grace Lee
  • published by Disney Hyperion (2016)
  • Roar Score: 4/5

Timed to coincide with this month’s theatrical release of Finding Dory, Three Little Words is a gorgeous picture book that really drives home the simple message that lies at the heart of Dory’s character: Just Keep Swimming.

This isn’t an adaptation of the film, per se, but it visually follows all of the major plot developments (including, apparently, the ending), so if you’re looking to remain spoiler-free until you’ve seen Finding Dory, then you may want to hold off on this for a few more weeks.

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But, like I said, it doesn’t tell the story of the film. Rather, it’s a sweet inspirational story that repeats Dory’s core message over and over and shows how, with a little perseverance and determination, we all have the strength to overcome most obstacles that stand in our way.

What elevates this slim book above being a mere vehicle to repeat those…ahem…three little words, though, is the art. Grace Lee’s watercolor illustrations present the characters and underwater environments in a warm, inviting manner that’s pretty much the equivalent of a visual hug.

The illustrations in the book almost feel like they were developed as original concept artwork for the film, and frankly I wouldn’t be surprised if they were. It’s just a lovely book to look at, and the positive message it delivers is icing on the cake.

Because of its inspirational and comforting message, this is a perfect book for graduation season. So go ahead, surprise the grads in your life with Three Little Words instead of Oh, the Places You’ll Go! They’ll thank you.

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(Disclosure: Disney Hyperion provided me with a review copy of this book. All opinions remain my own.)

Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He's the founder and owner of The Roarbots and also a contributor to Syfy Wire,, and GeekDad. On top of that, he hosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates creativity in popular culture, science, and technology by talking to a wide variety of people who contribute to it.