This simple, vivid story follows the food chain created when a naughty boy throws a goldfish down the toilet to see what happens. Little does he realize that the chain of events he starts will come back to haunt him: the goldfish is washed down the drain and reaches the sea, it is eaten by a larger fish, and it in turn is eaten by a larger fish . . . The chain eventually works its way round in a full circle with dramatic results. In this memorably funny, quirky, and clever picture book, readers see that ...
This simple, vivid story follows the food chain created when a naughty boy throws a goldfish down the toilet to see what happens. Little does he realize that the chain of events he starts will come back to haunt him: the goldfish is washed down the drain and reaches the sea, it is eaten by a larger fish, and it in turn is eaten by a larger fish . . . The chain eventually works its way round in a full circle with dramatic results. In this memorably funny, quirky, and clever picture book, readers see that thoughtless actions can have unexpected consequences. Written and illustrated by the successful author of many picture books, Food Chain is a delight for young and old alike.
If you are using a "Splash" theme for Summer Reading this year, you will want to add this colorful, sly, comical book to your collection. Spare words and very detailed pictures tell the story of a naughty little boy who dumps his live goldfish into the toilet and flushes. The illustrations follow the hapless fish's long journey through the pipes and out to the sea where he is expelled into the ocean in a polluted cloud of wastewater. Look for some archeological finds in the soil under the water pipes, including a foreshadowing or what is going to happen in the story. The gold fish is eaten by a bigger fish who ends up in the gullet of a still bigger fish and on and on until a very large fish ends up on the naughty boy's plate for dinner. But wait! On a visit to the seashore, the little boy is swallowed whole by a whale then expelled through the whale's blowhole. Let us not quibble about the zoological realities of the story. The pictures are really funny, even to the end panels where one of the big predatory fish is surrounded by his victims' vengeful relatives. Strong color and lots and lots of detail make this cautionary tale with its ecological message, a story time winner that kids will beg to take home so they can repeat the journey. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—It is difficult to pinpoint an audience for this book. The simple words are appropriate for preschoolers or beginning readers, but the gruesome pictures are likely to be too scary for most young children. A cute little fish in a bowl is dumped into a toilet by a naughty boy. The child is shown sitting on said toilet as the poor creature follows a long smelly pipe to the big ocean, where it is promptly swallowed by a bigger fish. The bigger-fish-eating-smaller-fish plot goes on for a few pages until the largest fish is caught by a fisherman and is eaten by the naughty boy. The thought of him ultimately eating his former pet is bad enough, but the story doesn't end there. The boy goes swimming at the beach where he is swallowed by a huge whale that is inexplicably close to the shore. But the lucky child escapes through the creature's blowhole. So what exactly is the message here? Bad boys win? The book blurb describes the story as funny, quirky, and clever, but the pen and watercolor illustrations of toothy, bulbous-eyed fish devouring one another is more disturbing than entertaining.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
A hapless goldfish becomes an undersea victim. Staring in fascination at his goldfish in its bowl, a "naughty little boy" hatches an "evil plan." He dumps the fish into the toilet bowl, and, lickety-split, the little fish lands in the big ocean. There it's eaten by a big fish, which is eaten by a bigger fish, which is eaten by a great big fish, which is caught by a big plump fisherman and ultimately ends up as fish and chips on the plate of the smiling "naughty little boy"--who later has a narrow escape from a big hungry whale. Robertson's ink-and-watercolor illustrations are full of cheeky dark humor and resemble portraiture in their depictions of sea life, which should fascinate young readers; one priceless picture shows a cross-section, both above- and underground, as the goldfish travels through the plumbing to the ocean while the boy sits on the toilet. But sentence-fragment text and repeated use of the phrase "naughty little boy" seem to parody the very issue that the author purports to present. Swimmy is still the gold standard. (Picture book. 4-7)