From the Publisher
"This Is A Poem That Heals Fish is a rare little miracle of a book. It manages the brilliant trick of explaining the abstract concept of a 'poem' to a child through the simple but effective art of demonstration. The book itself is a perfectly constructed poem."- posterband.com
"Exuding magic and unbridled creativity on every page, this is a book with the potential to heal more than just fish." - Publishers Weekly
"An enchantingly abstract invitation to ponder poetry." - Kirkus Reviews
“A great book for any age! At this very moment, it feels like one of the best books I’ve ever bought!” A Year of Reading
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
When Arthur tells his mother that his fish Leon is sick, she recommends giving him a poem. After searching the house in vain for a poem, Arthur consults Lolo at his bicycle shop. She tells him,"A poem, Arthur, is when you are in love and have the sky in your mouth. Arthur's friend Mrs. Round, the baker, advises she knows one, "...hot like fresh bread." Old Mahmoud declares, "A poem is when you hear the heartbeat of a stone." Consulting his canary Aristophanes, Arthur is told, "It is a song sung in a cage." His grandma and grandpa offer even more for him to think about. Arthur puts all the advice together for a poem for Leon, to which Leon has an answer. The story ends with all the definitions together, offering a challenge to readers to explain the mystery of a poem. The end pages are filled with the letters of the alphabet made of small fish. All are red except the letters P O E and M which are yellow. The full and double page illustrations are very loosely naturalistic and textured. On the jacket/cover a dreamy Arthur embraces a fish bowl where a small red fish reclines on a bed of seaweed. This leads to the title page, where a large red fish swims across the double page under these puzzling words, "This is not a fish that heals poems." Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
French poet Siméon doesn't explain what poetry is: he portrays a poem in the making. Arthur's fish, Leon, languishes in his bowl. "Hurry," his mother says, sailing off to her tuba lesson, "give him a poem!" But Arthur doesn't know what a poem is, so he asks a charming collection of eccentric neighbors, each painted by Tallec in delicate pencil lines and wet strokes of vibrant color. "A poem, Arthur, is when you are in love and have the sky in your mouth," says Lolo, the bicycle repairman. Mahmoud, who "comes from the desert," says, "A poem is when you hear the heartbeat of a stone." "A poem," says Arthur's grandmother, "turns words around, upside down, and-suddenly!-the world is new." Tallec paints what Arthur sees as he listens: Lolo flying through the clouds with his girlfriend, Mahmoud kneeling close to a rock under the desert sun, a giant whale swimming upside-down through an inverted city street. When Arthur returns to Leon and strings together the answers he's received-"A poem is when you have the sky in your mouth"-they make, children will perceive, a perfectly beautiful poem. Exuding magic and unbridled creativity on every page, this is a book with the potential to heal more than just fish. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal
A young boy is convinced that his pet fish will die of boredom, so his mother suggests that he give it a poem as she departs for her tuba lesson. This improbable premise leads into an equally improbable search for what exactly a poem is. The bright paintings do not relieve a dull book that is pitched above its audience. "A poem!? But what is a poem? Arthur goes to look in the kitchen cabinet.-Is there a poem in there?-Nooo po-eeeem, the noodles sigh in reply." The boy asks a neighbor, who says, "A poem is when you hear the heartbeat of a stone." The child asks his pet bird; it responds, "A poem is when words beat their wings. It is a song sung in a cage." The best way for children to understand what a poem is is to hear wonderful poetry. Skip this book and buy another copy of Caroline Kennedy's A Family of Poems (Hyperion, 2005).
Kathleen WhalinCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.