Jasper: The Fish Who Saved a Marriage

Overview

From dock to fish to school to happy ending, this fresh fish tale traces the misadventures of a very important ring. Jasper swallows it, Julia catches him, and the two of them unwittingly get that ring back where it belongs--though not without a few more twists and turns along the way. Full-color illustrations. Size D. 32 pp.

A series of fortuitous coincidences bring together a hungry fish, a loving couple, and a young girl.

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Overview

From dock to fish to school to happy ending, this fresh fish tale traces the misadventures of a very important ring. Jasper swallows it, Julia catches him, and the two of them unwittingly get that ring back where it belongs--though not without a few more twists and turns along the way. Full-color illustrations. Size D. 32 pp.

A series of fortuitous coincidences bring together a hungry fish, a loving couple, and a young girl.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Nancy Partridge
Mr. Green has just proposed to his beloved, Ms. Honeycutt, when their heirloom engagement ring is knocked out of her hands and into the sea. Mortified, they search and search, but to no avail. The ring is promptly swallowed by Jasper, the ever-hungry and adorable fish. Convinced that she will forever bring Mr. Green bad luck after this, Ms. Honeycutt refuses to marry him. Meanwhile Jasper is caught by a young girl, Julia, and her dad, and taken home as a pet. In a lovely twist of fate, Ms. Honeycutt turns out to be Julia's new teacher! When the children are asked to share a memento from their summer vacation, Jasper is brought in. Julia trips over something, Jasper sloshes out, opens his mouth, and out pops the ring. An astonished Ms. Honeycutt is overjoyed, and marries her sweetheart the following week, with Jasper and Julia in attendance. This unlikely story becomes entirely believable through the incredible illustrations which take up most of every page. While the plot might seem a bit too sophisticated for a picture book, the witty and wicked humor of the artist is sure to delight readers of all ages. The pictures are so magical, they bring this sweet story to life.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2Frenzied art overwhelms the abbreviated story line in this portentously titled tale of a fish that swallows an engagement ring, then coughs it up at an opportune moment. Just as Mr. Green proposes to Ms. Honeycutt, a skateboarder blows by and knocks their diamond ring into the ocean. Distressed, she turns down his proposal. Jasper, the fish who gulps it down, is later caught by young Julia and taken to school for show-and-tell. Her teacher turns out to be (wait for it) none other than that very same Ms. Honeycutt! One stumble later, out pops the ringand within a page the wedding is taking place. Bartkus places his realistically detailed figures in open, sometimes balletic postures, and readers seem to be looking up at them, creating a monumental look. In every scene people totter off balance as objects tip or fly through the air: the effect is a theatrical chaos that distracts from the plot rather than reflecting or enhancing it. Jasper is a wonderfully ugly fish, but, unlike Andrew Clements's Big Al (S & S, 1989) or Marcus Pfister's Rainbow Fish (North-South, 1992), he has insufficient presence to hold center stage. Readers may linger over individual illustrations, but this picture book is weakened by its lack of balance.John Peters, New York Public Library
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2--Frenzied art overwhelms the abbreviated story line in this portentously titled tale of a fish that swallows an engagement ring, then coughs it up at an opportune moment. Just as Mr. Green proposes to Ms. Honeycutt, a skateboarder blows by and knocks the diamond ring into the ocean. Distressed, the woman turns down his proposal. Jasper, the fish who gulps it down, is later caught by young Julia and taken to school for show-and-tell. Her teacher turns out to be (wait for it) none other than that very same Ms. Honeycutt! One stumble later, out pops the ring--and within a page the wedding is taking place. Bartkus places his realistically detailed figures in open, sometimes balletic postures, and readers seem to be looking up at them, creating a monumental look. In every scene people totter off balance as objects tip or fly through the air: the effect is a theatrical chaos that distracts from the plot rather than reflecting or enhancing it. Jasper is a wonderfully ugly fish, but, unlike Andrew Clements's Big Al (S & S, 1989) or Marcus Pfister's Rainbow Fish (North-South, 1992), he has insufficient presence to hold center stage. Readers may linger over individual illustrations, but this picture book is weakened by its lack of balance.--John Peters, New York Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881069891
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/1998
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 11.85 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven J. Simmons is the author of the best-selling children's book, ALICE AND GRETA: A TALE OF TWO WITCHES. He was inspired to write the story while playing with his children on a hill behind his home. In an interview on "The Today Show," Steven said that he felt a "spontaneous combustion" as the story took shape in his mind. He visits schools and reads his stories to many classrooms full of eager listeners.
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