Bright splashy colors and a catchy title highlight this purpose-driven tale.
Stella is obsessed with fishing, most particularly with catching the Great Googly Moogly, a supposedly monstrous creature haunting local waters for 200 years. Every day she goes down to the dock with her fishing gear. At night, in her bedroom with its fishy wallpaper, fish rug and fish stuffie, she dreams of the Great Googly Moogly. When the huge fish finally does appear and gives Stella a joyous ride, she rethinks this whole “catching” idea. At the end, readers see her and her parents in their rowboat, Stella dipping her hand into the water next to the big fish, who is looking friendly and content. The final image, of Stella hanging upside down next to a surprised-looking sloth, may make readers wonder if she is just shifting her obsession to mammals—who knows? “Googly Moogly” may have originated in mid-20th-century blues and was popularized as a phrase by Frank Zappa in the 1970s. It is great fun to say aloud.
Simply rolling the syllables “Great Googly Moogly” over their tongues may be enough to carry readers past the slightly elliptical ending. (Picture book. 3-6)