THE WALKING CATFISH by David Day

THE WALKING CATFISH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

It looks like the Road Dog Gang is going to win the Big Three Day Lie-Off at Gunther's General Store until Hank Blizzard, the River Rat Gang's champion liar, turns it around with an account of a man-eating catfish (""big as three grizzly bears, with an appetite to match"") that can come right out of the river. Called on that one, Hank astounds the assembly with an actual walking catfish--""only a baby,"" he claims. Next day, he temporarily convinces the whole town that the fish has eaten a boy. ""I'll out-lie old Lucifer himself,"" boasts Hank, whereupon a huge catfish rears out of the river and gulps him down--or so young narrator Lee Roy Jones claims. Entwisle sets this obviously true tale in a sun-drenched Depression-era small town, capturing a remarkable range of comically melodramatic expressions on the ragged cast--even the catfish have distinct personalities. His splashy, accomplished watercolors reflect a hot summer day's quiet serenity between bursts of energy in the climactic scenes. A well-done tall tale.

Pub Date: March 31st, 1992
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Macmillan