A Million Fish...More or Less

Overview

Newbery honor author Patricia C. McKissack’s original yarn of the Louisiana bayou is "told with verve and sly wit." (Publishers Weekly, Starred review)
 
Hugh Thomas knows that the Bayou Clapateaux is a mighty peculiar place. Why, back in 1903, Papa-Daddy and Elder Abbajon caught a turkey that weighed 500 pounds…more or less. 500 pounds?! Hugh Thomas isn’t so sure about that, until he’s left alone on the bayou with only his fishing pole ...
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Overview

Newbery honor author Patricia C. McKissack’s original yarn of the Louisiana bayou is "told with verve and sly wit." (Publishers Weekly, Starred review)
 
Hugh Thomas knows that the Bayou Clapateaux is a mighty peculiar place. Why, back in 1903, Papa-Daddy and Elder Abbajon caught a turkey that weighed 500 pounds…more or less. 500 pounds?! Hugh Thomas isn’t so sure about that, until he’s left alone on the bayou with only his fishing pole for company. Soon he catches three fish, and then…a million more! But after meeting up with raccoon bandits, thieving crows, and a hungry cat named Chantilly, Hugh Thomas returns home with just enough fish for breakfast…and a fantastic story, of course!

During an outing on the mysterious Bayou Clapateaux, Hugh Thomas catches a million fish.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"McKissack understands the elements of a good story, and includes just enough detail to make it work. Uninhibited splashes of vivid colors fill the pages and elicit a joyous emotional response to the dynamic human figures. A radiant debut for a talented illustrator."--(starred) School Library Journal.  
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"Told with verve and sly wit," said PW in a starred review, "this exuberant bayou tale admirably captures the captivating regional cadences and comedy of [an] intrepid fisher boy's adventures.... A splendid collaboration." Ages 5-9. (June)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-- When a black youngster, Hugh Thomas, goes fishing one morning, Papa-Daddy and Elder Abbajon row up like specters out of the mist. They delight and amaze the boy with tall tales, told in the vernacular, of giant turkeys and snakes, mysterious lamps, and strange happenings on the bayou. When they leave, Hugh Thomas embarks on an outlandish adventure of his own. He catches a million fish (more or less), divides his catch with a grand-pere alligator, again with a pack of pirate raccoons, crows, and finally some trickster cats. When he finally reaches Papa-Daddy and the Elder's houseboat, he has only three fish left, and a tale that surpasses theirs. McKissack understands the elements of good story, and includes just enough detail to make it work. Hugh Thomas accepts fantastic animals with ``an uncertain spirit,'' but tackles the problems they present to him, taking only a moment to wonder at their bizarre emergence from the swamp. He lives in an imaginative world that combines exotic realities of the bayou and slips almost imperceptibly into a fantasy that will bemuse readers as much as it does the boy. The vital, action-filled paintings seem naive at first glance. However, viewers will quickly see that each seemingly careless brush stroke works toward a harmoniously integrated whole. Uninhibited splashes of vivid colors highlight forms, fill the pages, and elicit a joyous emotional response to the dynamic human figures. A radiant debut for a talented illustrator. --Ruth Semrau, Lovejoy School, Allen, TX
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679880868
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Edition description: 1ST DRAGON
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 396,768
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.94 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 0.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia C. McKissack is the author of over twenty children's books, including The Dark Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural, which was a Newbery Honor book and a Coretta Scott King Award winner, and the All I’ll Ever Want Christmas Doll. She has also received the Coretta Scott King Award for A Long Hard Journey: The Story of Pullman Porter and Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters. Patricia currently lives in St. Louis.
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