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Friday, May 5, 2017

Something's Fishy, A Toon Book by Kevin McCloskey. Publishers Group Canada. 2017. $18.95 ages 5 and up

"Fish have gills to breathe,
not lungs like us.

ALMOST all fish.
Lungfish can breathe
with their gills or by
gulping air."

Spring is in the air ... and those who love fishing will be anxious to spent their days at shorelines trying their luck at catching something delicious for supper, or just for sport. For kids who don't know much about fish beyond an occasional meal or a pet goldfish, Kevin McCloskey is here to change all that!

In another wonderfully informative and carefully designed book from Toon, he has his readers look at fish big and small. In fact, he begins with a fish alphabet, introducing one fish for every letter. I found a number were new to me. Following that, we begin our attendance at 'fish school' where we find there is much to learn. Our guides are two young children, who have an abundance of knowledge about their subject.

A parrot serves as a check on the information being shared, and a cat and dog are attendees along with the reader.

"All fish are vertebrates -
that means they have bones.

Almost all fish! The hagfish
is a fish with no spine!"

Just as he did in We Dig Worms! and The Real Poop on Pigeons!, Mr. McCloskey provides a useful overview of the species: how and where they live, and what makes them so special. Finally, turning our attention to the goldfish, he expands our knowledge of what is often favored as a pet. He says that is as it should be. Still, there are things we need to know about them.

"Goldfish can remember faces.
They swim to the people who feed them.

A well-cared-for goldfish
can live twenty-five years!"

Somebody should have told us that when a goldfish was our only pet choice. What did we do? What did we do? None of the pets who have been an integral part of our field trip into 'fishdom' seem willing to agree with the book's sentiment that 'goldfish make the best pets ever!'

History and biology are important to the book, as are the realistic drawings that fill its pages. Cartoon-like, brightly colored and engaging, this is a terrific way for young readers to learn about science.

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