"This whopper of a fish tale makes a good read-aloud." School Library Journal
Higgins Bend Song and Danceby Brad Sneed (Illustrator), Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Simon Henry is all business - fish business. He claims he can catch anything that swims, crawls, or floats. But when a wily old bait-stealing catfish named Oscar moves into the deep hole by Higgins Bend, folks begin to wonder if Simon Henry may have met his match. When Oscar steals the cranky fisherman's redworms and even his best five-day-old secret-recipe
Simon Henry is all business - fish business. He claims he can catch anything that swims, crawls, or floats. But when a wily old bait-stealing catfish named Oscar moves into the deep hole by Higgins Bend, folks begin to wonder if Simon Henry may have met his match. When Oscar steals the cranky fisherman's redworms and even his best five-day-old secret-recipe stinkbait, Simon Henry's skill is put to the test. And so begins the great battle between Simon Henry and the wily Oscar. Neighbors watch and wait . . . until the night Simon Henry comes up with his best bait yet and Oscar takes Simon and his old friend Potato Kelly on the ride of their lives. An original tall tale sure to elicit belly laughs from both young and old alike.
Simon Henry's outstanding features are his ability to catch any fish and brag about it, his unsociable temperament, and his tight boots. In pursuit of his passion, he ignores even the "Friday-Night-Potluck-Everybody-Come-and-Fling" party in town. One day, Potato Kelly, female proprietor of the bait and chowder shop, tells him of the "crafty, bait-grasping catfish" in local waters, and the chase is on. The two odd-looking middle-aged characters wager with each other in colorful phrases about Simon Henry's ability to succeed. Since his socks "were beginning to smell worse that sour milk, worse than secret-recipe stinkbait," he uses them as a lure. The catfish clamps on and tows the fishing boat like the shark in Jaws, finally leaving only half a sock behind. Simon Henry must do all the humiliating things he promised, and Oscar lives on, singing in the deep hole by Higgins Bend. The watercolor illustrations exaggerate as much as the text: Figures and landscapes sway with the artist's lyrical lines; perspectives as if from odd camera lenses distort and amuse. Some of the townspeople look quite goofy, but they also look familiar, in a tale clearly fished from American waters.
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.77(w) x 11.35(h) x 0.45(d)
- Age Range:
- 4 - 7 Years
Meet the Author
Jacqueline Briggs Martin is the author of Snowflake Bentley, winner of the 1999 Caldecott Medal, and The Lamp, the Ice, and the Boat Called Fish, an ALA Notable Book, a Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book, Riverbank Review Finalist, Notable Social Studies Trade book and winner of The Golden Kite Award for Illustration. She grew up on a farm in Maine much like the one in this story. She lives in Mt. Vernon, Iowa.
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