FISHING

In the America at Work series, Drake and Love (Forestry, 1998, etc.) offer an overview of two US fisheries, one in Maine and the other in Alaska, as experienced through the eyes of a young girl, Jessie, who travels from her Alaska home to visit her Down East grandfather. The principal catch in each locale is salmon, but the text explains that past fishing practices have radically altered traditional methods of harvest. Heavy over-fishing has reduced the Maine salmon fishery to fish farming, which is what Jessie’s grandfather introduces her to. He takes her through the process of raising salmon, and also shows her experimental work in raising halibut. When Jessie returns home, her father, who is state fisheries officer, talks to her about the wild salmon fisheries still found in Alaska, and the ideal elements necessary for prime fish habitat. It is his job to protect that habitat and insure the salmon are not over-harvested as they were on the East Coast. Although the tone of the book is wincingly didactic, for the most part the information is doled out in manageable quantities, and the crystal-clear, full-color artwork leaves no doubt about the difference between a gillnetter and a seiner, a trawler and a longliner. (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 1-55074-457-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1999

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DORY STORY

Who is next in the ocean food chain? Pallotta has a surprising answer in this picture book glimpse of one curious boy. Danny, fascinated by plankton, takes his dory and rows out into the ocean, where he sees shrimp eating those plankton, fish sand eels eating shrimp, mackerel eating fish sand eels, bluefish chasing mackerel, tuna after bluefish, and killer whales after tuna. When an enormous humpbacked whale arrives on the scene, Danny’s dory tips over and he has to swim for a large rock or become—he worries’someone’s lunch. Surreal acrylic illustrations in vivid blues and red extend the story of a small boy, a small boat, and a vast ocean, in which the laws of the food chain are paramount. That the boy has been bathtub-bound during this entire imaginative foray doesn’t diminish the suspense, and the facts Pallotta presents are solidly researched. A charming fish tale about the one—the boy—that got away. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-88106-075-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

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EMELINE AT THE CIRCUS

PLB 0-679-97685-X In this tale, Priceman (My Nine Lives by Clio, 1998, etc.) uses color with great verve and energy, while her sly, appealing sense of humor allows a very different story to unfold in the pictures than the one taking place in the text. Ms. Splinter’s second grade is at the circus, and while the teacher holds forth about what is happening before their eyes, Emeline is having a parallel but distinctly separate adventure. As Ms. Splinter distinguishes between the African and Indian elephants, Emeline peacefully wanders off to buy peanuts; as Ms. Splinter describes the llama, Emeline’s peanuts get shaken into the mouth of the previous elephant, which is shaking her aloft. Emeline acquires a clown nose and hat (“clown comes from the Old Norse word klînne,” Ms. Splinter intones, “meaning ‘clumsy fellow,’ “) and proceeds to ride bareback, grab the highwire, and get rescued from the hippo by the strongman (as Ms. Splinter defines deltoids, biceps, and triceps). Facing the tiger and kissing the monkey leads Emeline to a quick aerial stunt and then she returns, placidly, to her seat. Confetti colors engender a child’s circus fantasy explosion: Emeline is always visible in her bright blue dress and red collar (and her clown nose). The pictures, while busy, are carefully composed; readers will always know what is going on and where Emeline is as the poker-faced narration marches on. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-679-87685-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1999

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