Can't Stop Reading

Lucky for me I get a hefty discount at work, because I just can't seem to stop myself!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Dear Fish by Chris Gall is an imaginative story about a boy named Peter Alan. Peter Alan (never just Peter) is spending the day at the beach with his family. He spends much of the day checking out tide pools and such, and decides to write a note, inviting the fish to come visit him. As an extra incentive, he mentions that his mother makes really great pie.

Well, the next day, it seems as though the fish have taken him up on his offer, and the town is besieged with sea creatures. Each page features a sea creature of some sort getting into trouble, and a nice chorus of sounds, all in their own font. For example "Down at the ballpark, it was the bottom of the ninth inning. Without looking, Casey McGraw grabbed a bat from the dugout and ran to the plate. The crowd hushed as he swung with all his might. And with a SMACK, a CRUNCH, a MUNCH, and a GULP, the game was over." The illustration on this page features a baseball player swinging a long skinny fish with a baseball between it's teeth.

All the illustrations are great, for that matter. They are done in a really cool retro style, and each page contains several visual jokes about the fish.

In the end, Peter Alan pops a note into the bathtub for the fish: "Dear Fish, Than you for coming to see us. You are nice, but you are fish. You should live at home. Plus, I think I hear your mothers calling you. Sincerely, Peter Alan."

Eventually, things get back to normal, and Peter Alan's family returns for a day at the beach. But then something catches Peter Alan's eye... it looks rather like a letter, that starts with "Dear Humans...."

A big part of the wonder of this book is the illustrations, which are truly fabulous. I also loved the endpapers (my mum is obsessed with endpapers, so I always notice them), which feature various species of ocean creatures, all nicely labelled.

Dear Fish written and illustrated by Chris Gall
ISBN 0316058475
36 pages


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