Hundreds of Fish

Hundreds of Fish

by Ellen Wood, Monique Felix, Moniquie Felix

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set in the land of the northern lights, what seems at first to be a gentle tale of a young wildlife enthusiast's observations takes a sharp turn when a pike devours three ducklings whose progress she and her brother have been following. Stunned by this turn of events, the girl's sadness does not lift, despite her parents' counsel about the circle of life, until a few seasons later when she catches the finned culprit (identifiable by the fishing lures stuck to its mouth) while ice fishing and discovers hundreds of eggs inside it. "I thought of the little ducks turned into little fish through the body of the mother fish. And when I eat the pike, the ducks and the fish will become a part of me." Wood handles the story's philosophical overtones with a light touch and displays a poet's keen ear for language (e.g., "long-legged birds... pecking with pointy beaks"; northern lights "dance shimmering streaks in the sky"). Felix possesses the eye of a naturalist, and her finely detailed watercolors unveil the lakeside habitat with the same appreciation as the narrator who describes its riches--the reflection of reeds in the water, the lacy canopy of leaves in the forest, the delicate pattern of feathers on a duck's back. An airy layout adds to the book's quiet sense of elegance and wonder. Ages 9-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Through the experiences of a young girl living with her parents and brother in the Alaskan wilderness, Wood explores a child's observations and dawning understanding of the food web. When the child sees a pike gobble up three ducklings, she is disturbed. Months later while ice fishing, she is happy to catch the ravenous fish, positively identified by the old fishing lures hanging from its mouth. Only when the pike is slit and eggs spill out does the protagonist learn that the fish was a mother. Confused and then thoughtful, she concludes, "-I suddenly realized that what had happened to the ducklings wasn't good or bad, wasn't happy or sad. It just was." She thinks of the chain of eaters of which she is a part. "And then I wasn't angry anymore, or even sad. I understood." Wood gives a powerful lesson in the simple language of a poet. Her text and Felix's beautiful watercolors make this an important book on a topic rarely tackled. Unfortunately, the CIP subject headings "Inuit" and "Eskimos" are misleading as there is nothing in the text that assigns ethnicity or cultural identity. This is a book for children who are grappling with the apparent cruelty of the natural world and as such it should be embraced as a worthy ecological offering.-Sue Sherif, Fairbanks North Star Borough Public Library, AK Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

Product Details

Creative Company, The
Publication date:
Creative Editions Series
Product dimensions:
7.75(w) x 11.25(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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