Curious Mr. Fish learns a lot on a vacation adventure, especially about life.
Mr. Fish plans obsessively for his very first vacation, but troubles abound on his journey. First, he gets lost, then he finds his snack bag empty, and then an overstuffed piece of luggage pops open. A friendly octopus suggests an alternate route, an eel directs him to a “briny-good diner,” and a crab helps him get to a rest stop to reload his suitcases. He finally reaches his destination—HelloStone Park Lodge—and knows he’s going to have a great time. But when he unpacks, he realizes, “I forgot my snoozy-snuggly! / My vacation’s a disaster!” Now Mr. Fish wants to go home. Then he takes a deep breath, and “a thought reache[s] out / all the way across the ocean”: though he and his pals miss one another, they will also remember one another. Feeling warm and snug with love, Mr. Fish sleeps soundly. The next day, he dives into all manner of “fin-tastic” fun. Back home, he reflects on his trip. “Not every single part / Of a trip goes swell, / But the detours and the bumps / Are the trip as well.” Diesen’s loose verse unfurls per series formula, but Hanna has some fun with the illustrations. His sea creatures are wonderfully expressive, and the situations Mr. Fish finds himself in offer some chuckles, as with a 90-degree vertical cliff that’s simply signaled “sharp turn ahead.”
Fans will love it. (Picture book. 3-6)