Barry the Fish with Fingers

( 17 )

Overview

Life under the sea can be as dull as dishwater, until Barry arrives, that is. See, Barry is no ordinary fish—he's a fish with fingers! And fingers mean finger puppets, finger painting, knitting, counting to ten, tickling, and all sorts of fun things. It isn't long before all of the other fish want fingers, too. Life under the sea will never be the same again. . . . 
Sue Hendra's hilarious text and bright, bold, colorful art will have ...
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Overview

Life under the sea can be as dull as dishwater, until Barry arrives, that is. See, Barry is no ordinary fish—he's a fish with fingers! And fingers mean finger puppets, finger painting, knitting, counting to ten, tickling, and all sorts of fun things. It isn't long before all of the other fish want fingers, too. Life under the sea will never be the same again. . . . 
Sue Hendra's hilarious text and bright, bold, colorful art will have youngsters begging to read this story again and again.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hendra's (Monsters Don't Eat Broccoli) extended play on words (where else would fish fingers come from?) provides TV cartoon-flavored entertainment for the very young. Barry, a cheerful blue fish, appears with 10 fish fingers--which look like they've been fried to golden perfection-- and shows Sea Slug and a group of bored fish the many things fingers can do. "With fingers I can... Knit a scarf! Count to ten! Type a letter! Make a paper chain!" Even better, Barry's fingers can also point to danger, as when a crate of Pirate Jack's Tasty Fish Sticks falls to the ocean floor. Thanks to Barry's warning, all the fish get out of the way in time and are shortly equipped with fingers of their own. Hendra's big flat fish and tropical colors shine out from the deep blue of the ocean water, while googly eyes and varying shapes provide lots of visual interest. Not much happens, but this unrelentingly cheerful outing at least has the virtue of being free of conflict--it's G-rated bedtime reading for even the littlest sardines. Ages 4-8. (June)
From the Publisher
Review, THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, August 15, 2010:
"Hendra’s bright and cheerful undersea characters make the ocean seem like a great place to be.”
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Watching the fish swim by from the ocean floor, Sea Slug is surprised to encounter Barry, a fish with fingers. Barry insists that fingers are the answer to any problem. When all the fish complain of being bored, Barry's answer is "FINGER PUPPETS!" He then proceeds to enumerate all the other wonderful things he can do with fingers. When a dark shadow suddenly appears, Barry can use a finger to point as he shouts a warning. Thanks to him, all the grateful fish are saved from a falling box. In a rather contrived manner, the box holds the answer to their request for fingers too. This lightweight fantasy is loaded with visual appeal. Gouache-painted fish of many shapes and colors fill the seascapes. The front end pages offer a score or more of these; they reappear on the back pages equipped with fingers from the box of "Pirate Jack's Tasty Fish Sticks." Readers may appreciate their own fingers more as they enjoy the laugh. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews
The fish in the sea are bored. There's nothing to do but swim, swim, swim. Until Barry shows up, that is. Barry is a fish with...fingers! Wide-eyed with exuberance and brandishing ten bright-orange fingers stuck on like perpetual jazz hands, Barry is just what the ocean needs. With his fingers he can do many new things. Play with finger puppets! Knit a scarf! Type a letter! Tickle! And perhaps the most important of all-warn other fish of danger. When a large box suddenly falls into the water, Barry's pointing finger (and accompanying shout) saves the day. What is in that large box? Pirate Jack's Tasty Fish Sticks, of course. Now all the fish can have fingers too! A bit of a plodding plot aside, it's no wonder Barry is able to cheer everyone up; Hendra, wielding bright gouaches on playfully flat compositions, has created one impossibly endearing little fish. (Readers would do well not to explore the bioethics of the fishes' new digits too closely, though.) (Picture book. 3-5)
School Library Journal
Gr 2—Slug enjoys lying on the ocean floor observing the different fish as they swim by. He takes note of their diverse sizes, shapes, and colors and figures he has seen everything—until Barry arrives. Barry has fingers at the ends of his fins. He claims that his new appendages are "the answer to every fish's problem." The problem, it turns out, is boredom. Barry demonstrates all of the wonderful things he can do with his fingers, such as count, knit, type, paint, and play the piano. He even saves the others' lives when he points out a heavy object that is plummeting to the sea floor, and they can scatter before it lands on them. The box, it turns out, is filled with Pirate Jack's Tasty Fish Sticks, which enable the other fish to obtain fingers like Barry's. The book's pages are filled with bright, cartoonish, gouache illustrations. Children who enjoyed Marcus Pfister's "Rainbow Fish" books (NorthSouth) will enjoy Barry.—Donna Atmur, Los Angeles Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375858949
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 6/8/2010
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 803,038
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

SUE HENDRA graduated from the University of Brighton, in England, with a degree in illustration. She has illustrated over seventy books for children, including Monsters Don't Eat Broccoli by Barbara Jean Hicks. When she's not busy making books, Sue helps run an art club for children at two of her local museums. Sue Hendra lives in Brighton, where she loves to swim, explore the surrounding countryside, and eat fish-finger sandwiches, much to Barry's chagrin.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 17 )
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