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Dear Fishby Chris Gall
Synopses & Reviews
Peter Alan wants to have some fish over for a visit, but what happens when the creatures of the sea take him up on his offer? Something fishy, of course! At first, their visit is all fun and games, but then, things really start to get out of hand? Watch out for a bucking bull shark at the rodeo, the invasion of a slimy school of fish, and many other playful pictorial puns hidden in these striking, surrealistic illustrations. An endpaper identifying over 30 species of fish appearing in the book is an educational bonus. Here is a fantastic flight of fancy that every child will savor, with a subtle message: Be careful what you wish for!
"In this surreal romp, garnished with action verbs and visual jokes, Gall (America the Beautiful) imagines what might happen if ocean creatures explored human neighborhoods. Unlike the frogs in David Wiesner's Tuesday — referenced in the bird's-eye view of a quaint church tower, among other images — the fish don't show up uninvited. They respond to a message in a bottle from Peter Alan, a boy who loves playing in tidal pools. 'Dear Fish,' he writes, 'Where you live is pretty cool. You should come visit us someday.' The next morning, he hears 'a strange dripping and a flipping, a flopping and a gurgling,' and a huge emerald-green fish peeks out of his claw-foot bathtub. Gall's endpapers, which identify aquatic species, warn readers of 'fish puns' galore; indeed, an airborne school of fish invades Peter Alan's math class, puffer fish (on balloon strings) and jellyfish (one holding a jar of peanut butter) hover in a birthday-girl's kitchen, and a sawfish and hammerhead disrupt the hero's father at his woodworking. Afterward, firefighters clean up the seaweed, while along a rocky beach, a note addressed 'Dear Humans' flutters from a conch shell. Gall's precise, linocut-style images are hand-engraved on clay board and finished with digital color; his saturated palette of ochre, terracotta and aquamarine seems inspired by golden autumn sunsets in New England or northern California. Gall borrows from the bizarre visions of Wiesner and Chris van Allsburg, then adds his own quirky humor to this inviting escapade. Ages 3-6." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Where you live is pretty cool. You should come visit us sometime. Plus, my mom makes good pies.
What happens when the creatures of the sea take Peter Alan up on his offer? Something fishy, of course! Watch out for a bucking bull shark at the rodeo, the invasion of a slimy school of fish, and other playful pictorial puns hidden within the illustrations. Endpapers identify more than 30 species of fish that appear in the book! This is a fantastic flight of fancy that every child will savor!
About the Author
Chris Gall is the author/illustrator of an acclaimed edition of America the Beautiful, which was named a Publishers' Weekly Best Children's Book of 2004. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.
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