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Jangles: A Big Fish Story

Jangles: A Big Fish Story

5.0 1
by David Shannon

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Breathtaking oil paintings bursting with energy pull readers along into Big Lake, the home of Jangles, the biggest fish anyone has seen. Fishing alone at dusk,
a boy feels a tug on his line and comes face-to-face with the gigantic trout--whose enormous jaw is covered with so many lures and fish hooks that he jingles and jangles when he swims. Terrified by the


Breathtaking oil paintings bursting with energy pull readers along into Big Lake, the home of Jangles, the biggest fish anyone has seen. Fishing alone at dusk,
a boy feels a tug on his line and comes face-to-face with the gigantic trout--whose enormous jaw is covered with so many lures and fish hooks that he jingles and jangles when he swims. Terrified by the sight, the boy is shocked when Jangles befriends him and takes him on an adventure to the bottom of the lake. A surprise ending will leave readers laughing and shaking their heads. Here is Shannon at his very best-in a wild and witty story that begs repeated reading.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The heroes of most picture books are furry and adorable. Not Shannon’s (Too Many Toys!) trout Jangles, who lunges out of a spread with his gold eye gleaming, fins tense, underslung jaw studded with dozens and dozens of fishing lures and hooks: “They clinked and clattered as he swam. That’s why he was called Jangles.” The unnamed narrator’s father shares a story his father told him, a highly embellished tale about his father’s boyhood, when Jangles was the fish everyone wanted to catch. The trout’s wily ways were the stuff of myth: “e ate eagles from the trees that hung out over the lake and full-grown beavers that strayed too far from home” (a spray of feathers and a glimpse of trout tail can be seen in midair as an astonished beaver looks on). The boy in the story catches Jangles—he claims—but few will foresee what happens next, in a series of events that owe both to folklore and suburban legend. Picture-book art doesn’t get much more rousing than this; for anglers in particular and adventure lovers in general, it’s a slam-dunk. Ages 4–up. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

* "A slam-dunk." – Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"[A] fantastic fishing fable." – Kirkus Reviews

Texas Bluebonnet Award, 2013-2014
Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award, 2014-2015Winner A
Show Me Readers Award, 20151st place
Treasure State Award, 2014Winner

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
The story of Jangles, the legendary Trout of Big Lake, is told to our narrator by his father. In his childhood Jangles was "the biggest fish anyone had ever seen—or heard!" He was heard because of the jangling of the many lures and fishhooks caught in his jaw. No one could catch him. One day, when he was his son's age, the father drifted out onto the lake at night while fishing. He caught an old fishing rod. Reeling that in, he heard a jangling, and a huge shadow swallowed the lure. Jangles pulled him down into the water. Somehow he could still breathe. In a cave filled with old boats, Jangles welcomed him and told him "amazing, wonderful stories." Then, as Jangles took him back up, the father turned him upside down. Jangles asked him to do the right thing, the father agreed—as long as he could prove that he successfully caught the fish. The ending is a pleasant surprise. Shannon paints a mean-looking fish, naturalistic but dangerous close-up. A score or more of hooks and lines of all sorts are stuck around his mouth. Double page scenes are painted with vigor and from varying viewpoints, until the final wave goodbye in the moonlit night. We are left to wonder about how much is truth and how much fantasy. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
A father tells his son about the fish he let get away. The fish, a giant trout, had fooled fishermen for years and wore the lures they had tried to catch him with. He jangled as he swam. Jangles was so big he was known to eat eagles out of trees and full-grown otters off the bank. People tried to catch him with whole turkeys as bait. But he escaped them all until the storyteller, when he was about 10 or so, happened to be fishing by himself late in the day. He snagged an old fishing rod with his new fishing rod and on the old rod was Jangles. Well, that big ol' fish pulled the boy down to his fishy house. But to the boy's amazement, he could still breathe. Jangles told him all kinds of wonderful stories about the creatures living before humans arrived and the wise old trees and silly animals. When the boy got sleepy, Jangles carried him back to his boat. But the boy did a mean thing. He tangled Jangles in fishing line and turned him upside down. Jangles was stunned and his feelings were hurt. He convinced the boy to let him go, but not before the boy took out all the old lures stuck in Jangles' jaws. The boy could have proven to the whole world that he had indeed caught that giant fish by showing off the collection of lures. Instead, he kept the adventure a secret until he shared the story and lures with his son. A cute story with nice pictures. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—Shannon reinvents the "big fish story" with this creepy tall tale, framed as a story the narrator's father told him about "the biggest fish anyone had ever seen." "Jangles was so big he ate eagles…," but not kids. One day, as a child, he drifted out and reeled in Jangles, who pulled him to the bottom of the lake and told him stories. When they came to the surface, he snared the giant fish with his line. Jangles upbraided him for his ungratefulness, and the boy released him, removing the lures as penance. The story ends with an image of the tackle box full of them. The illustrations are full-bleed spreads in dark shades of green, brown, and blue. Jangles is so huge that he runs off the pages, and his lures-covered underbite and mean yellow eye are distinctly scary. Shannon's people have the rounded faces and bulging eyes found in The Rain Came Down (Scholastic, 2000), and are reminiscent of the creepy computer animated baby that went viral in the 1990s. The story is predictable, short on plot, and heavy on exclamation points. The narrator's sudden ability to breathe underwater is more jarring than Jangles's ability to talk, and the fish's capture feels mean-spirited, leading to a didactic ending.—Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
Kirkus Reviews
A boy recalls his father's pretty amazing story of the larger-than-life trout he nearly caught in this tall tale of a remarkably big fish that got away. Everyone at Big Lake wanted to catch infamous Jangles, the "biggest fish anyone had ever seen." Jangles earned his name from the metal lures and fishhooks embedded in his huge jaw that "clinked and clattered as he swam." Locals believed Jangles was so big he could eat eagles and beavers, and some swore he'd saved a baby who fell into the lake. In the narrator's father's story of a boyhood encounter, Jangles swallows his lure and drags him underwater to a cave in the deepest part of the lake, where the fish talks and shares "secrets from the beginning of time" about Big Lake. But as Jangles returns him to the boat, the narrator's father turns the tables by tricking and trapping Jangles. Arguing he is "more than a fish," Jangles begs to be released, leaving the narrator's father to decide his fate in a twist ending. Dramatic, realistic, full-color oil illustrations more than fill double-page spreads, accentuating the tale's colloquial hyperbole. Action-packed close-ups capture the seemingly omniscient, omnipotent Jangles from arresting angles, allowing readers to feel they are front and center in this fantastic fishing fable. Some fish indeed! (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
11.00(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.50(d)
AD900L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

David Shannon is the internationally acclaimed creator of more than thirty picture books, including No, David!, a Caldecott Honor Book and his second New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year, and three more David picture books. Shannon's bestsellers include A Bad Case of Stripes, Duck on a Bike, and his recent Bugs in My Hair. He lives in California with his family.

Brief Biography

Los Angeles, California
Date of Birth:
October 5, 1960
Place of Birth:
Washington, D. C. (Raised in Spokane, Washington)
B.A., Art Center College of Design

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Jangles: A Big Fish Story 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
ACS_Book_Blogger More than 1 year ago
Jangles a BIG fish story by Davis Shannon is a delightful tale of the fish that got away. The story is smooth to read and would make a great read-a-loud story for children to anticipate what will happen at the end. I enjoyed the illustrations that make you feel like you are part of the story. Every town has a story that has been passed down for generations and this book is a wonderful depiction of a father passing down a tale to his children. (rev. C.Delorge) The illustrations in Jangles a BIG fish story seem to literally jump off the page at you. You are amazingly brought into the story by the bold, active, strong art. DISCLOSURE: A complimentary review copy was provided by Scholastic to facilitate this honest review.