Sweet and informative; of special interest to young fish lovers.



From the Through the Years with Bonga Bonga series , Vol. 1

This illustrated children’s book explains how Grandpa came to love fish and care for them in a backyard pond.

As the story’s young narrator explains, her favorite baby toy was a monkey that dangled overhead. When she’d pull on its feet, her monkey would say “Bonga Bonga,” and that became the girl’s nickname. Bonga Bonga tells her grandfather’s tale as she’s heard it from him. Growing up in Jamaica, he liked to keep glass jars and aquariums filled with fish. By the time he was 10 years old, they became too numerous to keep inside, so he built several backyard ponds, one for each type of fish. He also solved several problems, such as how to protect his pets from dragonfly nymphs and a fish-eating neighbor cat. After finishing his university studies, he moved to West Vancouver, Canada, where Bonga Bonga now lives. There, he built a large pond in his backyard in the shape of Jamaica, but instead of warm-water tropical fish, he had to stock hardier goldfish. He made his own fish food and put up a bird feeder. There were some sad moments, as when raccoons and herons ate all 72 goldfish, but later Bonga Bonga’s grandfather installed a lighted fountain that scared predators away. “Then my grandpa and me bought some more goldfish. And we were very happy once again,” concludes Bonga Bonga. In this series opener aimed at children ages 1 to 7, Haddad (If I’m Not Back by Wednesday, 2016) tells the story with much affection for family relationships and the natural world. In the first category are warm memories of Bonga Bonga’s spending time with Grandpa: feeding fish and birds, playing, and commiserating when animals ate the goldfish. In the second category are, for example, tidbits about the life cycle of fish. Children can also learn something about the difficulties and rewards of keeping fish in backyard ponds, with solid information that comes from experience. The uncredited illustrations are charmingly naïve, bringing out the appeal of beautifully hued fish and even the ravenous raccoons.

Sweet and informative; of special interest to young fish lovers.

Pub Date: May 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5255-2760-9

Page Count: 44

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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