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Food Chain
     

Food Chain

by M. P. Robertson (Illustrator)
 

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This simple, vivid story follows the food chain created when a naughty boy throws a goldfish down the toilet: it reaches the sea and is soon 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. A memorable picture book from the successful author of many picture

Overview

This simple, vivid story follows the food chain created when a naughty boy throws a goldfish down the toilet: it reaches the sea and is soon 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. A memorable picture book from the successful author of many picture books.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
My favourite part for this 10/10 read was the last page - you don't mess with a family of fish with sharp teeth!

The wonderful illustrations and dark humour will delight youngsters.

My favourite part for this 10/10 read was the last page - you don't mess with a family of fish with sharp teeth!

The wonderful illustrations and dark humour will delight youngsters.

Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
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
Kirkus Reviews
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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781845079291
Publisher:
Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Publication date:
04/27/2010
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.40(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

M. P. Robertson is an internationally acclaimed author and illustrator of children's books. His many books include The Egg, The Dragon Snatcher, Frank 'n' Stan, Food Chain, Hieronymus Betts and His Unusual Pets, and Ice Trap!, written by Meredith Hooper. He lives with his family in Wiltshire, U.K.

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