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Sawfin Stickleback: A Very Fishy Story

Sawfin Stickleback: A Very Fishy Story

by Catherine Friend, Dan Yaccarino (Illustrator)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Two children ice-fishing with their grandfather express their dread of the watery depths in this playful story. ``The ice, two feet thick, shimmered a strange blue and white. The water was dark and mysterious,'' writes Friend (My Head Is Full of Colors), as a fish's-eye view of the hole in the ice helps set an ominous mood. As she and Grandpa exchange winks, narrator Katie wonders aloud if she or her brother Mark will land a horrible ``Frecklebelly Chubsucker,'' ``Ninespine Cisco'' or ``Sawfin Stickleback,'' thus setting the stage for a good practical joke. Yaccarino (Big Brother Mike) selects a bizarre palette of lurid oranges complemented by turquoise and astroturf green. He paints highly stylized, rubbery figures with tiny limbs and wide, Pepto-Bismol-pink faces; Mark has the additional distinction of teacup-handle ears. Given the mannered art, it's tough to relate to Katie and Mark as human beings despite the friendly, in-the-know tone of the story. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Katie and her younger brother Mark spend a day ice fishing with their grandfather. To relieve their boredom, Katie convinces Mark that the dark shapes he sees in his fishing hole are menacing creatures such as the ``Frecklebelly Chubsucker.'' By the time he does hook a fish, Mark is sure it is a huge ``Sawfin Stickleback,'' too large to fit through the ice hole. Determined to save everyone from the monster, he searches frantically for scissors while Katie and Grandpa, her co-conspirator, land and free a tiny fish. The little boy's story about his bravery and the Stickleback's size grow in every telling. The book may require more than one reading to distinguish reality from tall tale as there aren't enough visual clues. In fact, the illustrations weaken rather than enhance the text. The garish pink, orange, blue, and chartreuse fish are more ugly than frightening, and the children have huge, abnormally pink heads, tiny red eyes, and miniature hands and feet. A better choice for exaggerated fishing stories is A Million Fish...More or Less (Knopf, 1992) by Patricia McKissack.-Kathy Piehl, Mankato State University, MN

Product Details

Hyperion Books for Children
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
9.34(w) x 8.78(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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