Eel was ill. He did not wake up feeling very electric. "Oh, drat!" he said grumpily. "I've lost my zap!"
An adorably funny undersea adventure for beginning readers
Poor Eel. Kate and Dave want to help their friend get his zap back. All they need is a plan-one that doesn't involve biting things, even though Dave's shark teeth are itching to chomp something.
With lots of help from the other sea creatures, the friends come up with the perfect way to jolt Eel's zap back into him. A surprise party is sure to do the trick! But the party starts off with a shock that no one expected.
Landry's (Eat Your Peas, Ivy Louise!, reviewed May 9) spry if slight underwater tale opens as mermaid Kate asks her buddy Dave, a shark, what they should do that day. Dave spontaneously responds, "Let's bite something." (He "was bored, and boredom always made his teeth itch.") Dave's desire to bite becomes a recurring theme that supplies a large dose of the story's humor. On a visit to Eel, an electrical eel who laments that he's lost his "zap," Dave offers to help by giving the eel's tail "a good bite." Instead the ailing fellow promises the hungry shark a bite of plankton pie if he and Kate can "help him get his zap back." While the duo works on a plan to do just that, a despondent Eel convinces himself that they have forgotten all about him. Though their own plan misfires, all ends well and, in the process, Dave learns a lesson "to be a bit more cautious when biting." Brief chapters, simple sentences and subtle repetition make this a good choice for independent readers eager to plunge into early chapter books. Landry's rudimentary halftone artwork illustrates this light lark. Ages 7-10. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Poor Eel is sick because he wakes up not feeling very electric and cannot use his zap. Kate, the mermaid, and Dave, the shark, set out to help their electric eel friend. Dave, who always wants to bite something, says that he will help by biting the eel's tail. Kate says no and offers to make Eel some sea tea. Eel wants to give them plankton pie as a reward if they help him. They visit fish Puff, who is hiding from a storm above, to help find a solution. She gives several suggestions on what to do—like a cure for hiccups, hot soup, a scarf around the neck and calling a sea doctor. Dave comes up with the idea of a surprise party. Other sea creatures join forces to help. However, in the meantime, Eel feels that they have forgotten him. The party starts with a shock but ends well and Dave learns to be more cautious in biting. The book may have an interest for grades one through three students but it seems to be at a somewhat higher level. It may fulfill a need for an independent chapter book for advanced grades one and two students. It may also be appropriate for slower grades three and four students. 2005, Henry Holt and Co, Ages 6 to 8.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3--When an electric eel loses his zap, it's up to Kate the mermaid and Dave the shark to find a cure. Dave eventually comes up with an idea: with the help of Kate and all of their ocean friends, he organizes a party to surprise Eel into zapping again. However, when this plan doesn't work, it's the shark's need to chomp that inadvertently helps Eel to return to normal. This beginner chapter book includes simple and complex sentences with words up to a moderate degree of difficulty. The familiar plot is given a bit of humor by Dave's repeated desire to chew on everything in sight. The black-and-white illustrations have a grainy and unappealing quality. Overall, this tale of friendship pairs an uninspired text with flat and lackluster art.-Catherine Callegari, San Antonio Public Library, TX Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
In this unusually cast undersea tale for recent Easy Reader graduates, friends help out when Eel wakes up one morning without his electric zing. Those friends include Kate, a young mermaid, and Dave, a shark with the compellingly simple philosophy that biting solves any problem. Together they organize a surprise party that, thanks to a well-timed bolt of lightning topside, culminates in a literally shocking climax that leaves Eel recharged. Landry adds the occasional item of human furniture or clothing to his simply drawn marine scenes, outfitting Eel, for instance, with a baseball cap that he dons after morosely crawling out of bed. Eel's presence notwithstanding, the general level of silliness doesn't quite have the wattage of Denys Cazet's or Deborah Cronin's barnyard tales, but young readers willing to take the plunge will be amused. (Fiction. 8-10)
Leo Landry, the author of the picture books Oh, Baby! and The Snow Ghosts, manages the Children's Book Shop in Brookline, Massachusetts. Mr. Landry lives with his family and his cat and dog in a renovated barn from the 1880s in Easton, Massachusetts.
It was a cool, wet day at the bottom of the sea. Above the waves, a storm was brewing. Far below, safe from the storm, Kate and Dave were out for a morning swim along the coral reef.
"What shall we do today, Dave?" asked Kate, flipping her tail idly.
"Let's bite something," said Dave. Dave was bored, and boredom always made his teeth itch.
"No," said Kate. "Why do you always want to go around biting things?"
"It is what I do," answered Dave simply.
"Well, it is not what I do," said Kate. "Let's go and visit Eel instead. I haven't seen him since last week, and I miss his electric-eel glow."
"We could visit Eel and bite something," Dave muttered to himself.
The two friends swam off together toward Eel's house.
Chapter 2: A Sick Friend
Eel was ill. He did not wake up feeling very electric. This was not a good sign. He was an electric eel. He tried to zap on the light at his bedside with his tail. When he touched it, nothing happened.
"Oh, drat!" he said grumpily. "I've lost my zap!"
He tried the lamp again but remained in the dark.
"Ding!" rang the doorbell.
"Go away!" shouted Eel.
"It is your friends, Kate and Dave," said Kate and Dave.
"I am sick. I seem to have lost my zap. The door is unlocked. Come in," said Eel.
Kate and Dave swam through the open door. They saw their good friend lying in bed. He was as pale as a sea cucumber.
"What's wrong?" asked Kate, concerned.
"When I woke up today," Eel answered, tucking himself further under the covers, "I felt as weak as a sea slug. As flat as a flounder. And when I tried to usemy zap to turn on my light, I had no glow. No charge. No e-l-e-c-t-r-i-c-i-t-y."
"Then I will make you some sea tea," offered Kate.
"And I will give your tail a good bite," offered Dave.
"Try it, and I will zap you," said Eel. "Once I get my zap back."
"Nobody understands me," said Dave. His lower lip stuck out as he pouted. "I was only trying to help." He looked around and saw a pie on Eel's kitchen shelf.
"If you two help me get my zap back, I might let you have a bite of that plankton pie you have your eye on," said Eel.
Dave's eyes widened in delight. Plankton pie was his favorite dessert.
"It's a deal," said Dave, smiling. "Let's go, Kate. We've got work to do."
Chapter 3: The Wreck
"Where are we going?" asked Kate, as they raced along the ocean floor.
"To the wreck," said Dave. "I am hoping that Puff will help us."
Kate and Dave soon reached the wreck. The sunken ship had been lying on the ocean floor for many years. Its tall mast reached all the way up above the waves.
"Puff is always hiding around here," said Dave. "We will find her. Ha! There she is now."
Puff was warily peeking out from a broken teacup. She had not yet seen her friends.
"Watch this," said Dave, and snickered. Silently, he swam up behind the cup.
"Woo Woo!" he shouted.
Whoosh! went Puff. She inflated like a balloon and popped out of the teacup in a nervous flutter.
"Hi, there!" said Dave with a wicked grin.
"Eek!" squeaked Puff. "You scared me!"
"You were already scared," said Dave. "What are you hiding from?"
"There is a big storm up above," explained Puff. "I am afraid of the thunder and lightning."
"But that is all the way up there," said Dave. "We are all the way down here."
"You never know," said Puff nervously. She was always very cautious.
" 'Fraidy fish," said Dave.
"Stop it, you two!" Kate snapped. "We are wasting time. Puff, Eel is ill. He woke up without his electric-eel energy, and we are trying to help him get his zap back," said Kate. "Will you help us?"
"I g-guess so," said Puff nervously. She took a deep gulp of water. "But keep Dave away from me. He makes me jumpy."
"Don't worry," said Dave. "I will leave you alone now. It's time to help our good pal Eel feel better. And then, of course, have a big bite of his plankton pie."
Chapter 4: A Plan
Kate, Dave, and Puff needed a plan.
Kate thought, and twirled her tail.
Dave thought, and chewed on a fin.
Puff thought, and stuck out her spines.
"I have it!" shouted Puff. "Maybe if-"
"We bit him?" interrupted Dave.
"No!" said Puff. "No biting today! I was going to suggest something that I read in a book I found at the wreck. Maybe if he drank a glass of water without taking a breath he would get his zap back."
"That is a cure for hiccups," said Kate. "I don't think it works for zaps."
"Besides, we live in the sea," said Dave. "We breathe water."
"Oh," said Puff, deflating a bit. She thought harder.
"Hot soup?" she asked at last.
"A cure for a cold," said Kate.
"Tie a warm wool scarf around his neck?" suggested Puff.
"Sore throat," answered Kate, and sighed.
The three undersea friends looked down at the seafloor and thought once more.
"I've got it!" exclaimed Dave.
"Of course! We call a sea doctor!" shouted Puff.
"No!" Dave paused, and just managed not to bite Puff. "No, no, no. I've got a plan. Get everyone together and meet back here in one hour. It's time for a surprise party!"