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 dolike 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.
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)