The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Uses humor to great effect, and the character dynamics are striking...Whamond's [illustrations] lean towards a cleaner comic style."
"A fun school story that should appeal primarily to boys who are ready to start tackling chapter books...Has enough of an ick-factor, and humour to engage any reader. The illustrations by Dave Whamond add a great deal of detail to this lighthearted story, and kids should be quite engaged by both them and the antics in the plot."
School Library Journal
Gr 2–3—Missing Luck features a Japanese girl and her grandmother, Obaachan, who owns a bakery. When the lucky cat statue in the window goes missing, Sara creates signs advertising a finder's reward, leading people to think that a real animal is missing. Obaachan does not smile now, partly because of the statue, but mostly because business has been slow. Sara convinces her to make special cat-shaped pastries for Saturday and asks her friends to come by the shop. All turns out well as the statue is found and the bakery flourishes. Something's Fishy features energetic Jamie, who is nuts about sharks. When the teacher asks for class pet suggestions, the second grader lobbies hard for his favorite animal. Instead, Mr. Claxton brings in a betta fish and puts Jamie in charge of it. He is thrilled when he's invited to play soccer at recess but then remembers Jaws. In a rush, he accidentally drops all the food into the bowl. In an attempt to save the fish from overeating, he sticks his head in the bowl and starts eating the fish food himself. As one would expect (the cover art sort of gives it away), he swallows the class pet. He wrestles with the horrible thing he's done, but finally admits the truth. He collects all his savings and purchases a new class pet—a gecko—along with crickets for food. In both books, 15 full-page, black-and-white illustrations enhance the text. Additional choices for beginning chapter-book collections.—Debbie Whitbeck, West Ottawa Public Schools, Holland, MI
"An energetic short novel...This book was refreshing to read and will surely entertain and surprise young readers. The content is written well, and children will easily be able to relate to their own classrooms and classroom experiences. The illustrations were interesting to look at and offered excellent visuals to add to the Jamie character. The author's experience as a teacher is evident and realistic. The portrayal of the Jamie character is excellent. Something's Fishy will be an excellent addition to a school or classroom library. Highly Recommended."
Children's Literature - Vicki Foote
What do you do if you have swallowed the classroom's pet fish? This odd predicament begins when Jamie's second grade teacher announces that the class is getting a pet. Jamie wants a shark because sharks are his favorite animals. The next day the class finds out that the new pet is a fish, and everyone gets a chance to give it a name. Jamie's name for the fish is chosen, so he gets to take care of the fish for a week. Jamie is easily distracted and runs out to play soccer when he is supposed to feed the fish. He remembers during the game and rushes back to the classroom. He accidentally drops the whole bottle of fish food into the tank. He is afraid the fish will die because of too much food, so he tries unsuccessfully to scoop out the fish flakes. Then he tries to eat the food in the water and inadvertently swallows the fish. When the class comes in and finds that the fish is gone, Jamie is very upset but does not say anything. When the class goes to the library, Jamie burps and one of the students says that it smells like fish food. Jamie confesses and goes home, feeling miserable. He takes his money from his piggy bank and asks his mom if she will take him to the mall. The next day he brings a gecko to school to be the classroom pet. This chapter book contains some humorous illustrations that add interest to this quirky and mildly amusing story. The book is part of the "Orca Echoes" series. Reviewer: Vicki Foote
Read an Excerpt
Mr. Claxton took a deep breath. "Yes, Jamie?"
Jamie was so excited, he jumped to his feet. He kept jumping. "I think we should get—"
"A shark?" Kamal asked.
Jamie's eyes widened. "How did you know?"
"Because that's all you ever talk about. Sharks this. Sharks that," said Kamal. "Don't you think about anything else?"
Jamie shrugged. "I don't want our class to get just any shark," he said. "I think we should get a great white shark."