A boy recalls his father’s pretty amazing story of the larger-than-life trout he nearly caught in this tall tale of a remarkably big fish that got away.
Everyone at Big Lake wanted to catch infamous Jangles, the “biggest fish anyone had ever seen.” Jangles earned his name from the metal lures and fishhooks embedded in his huge jaw that “clinked and clattered as he swam.” Locals believed Jangles was so big he could eat eagles and beavers, and some swore he’d saved a baby who fell into the lake. In the narrator’s father’s story of a boyhood encounter, Jangles swallows his lure and drags him underwater to a cave in the deepest part of the lake, where the fish talks and shares “secrets from the beginning of time” about Big Lake. But as Jangles returns him to the boat, the narrator’s father turns the tables by tricking and trapping Jangles. Arguing he is “more than a fish,” Jangles begs to be released, leaving the narrator’s father to decide his fate in a twist ending. Dramatic, realistic, full-color oil illustrations more than fill double-page spreads, accentuating the tale’s colloquial hyperbole. Action-packed close-ups capture the seemingly omniscient, omnipotent Jangles from arresting angles, allowing readers to feel they are front and center in this fantastic fishing fable.
Some fish indeed! (Picture book. 4-8)