WHERE THE BIG FISH ARE by Jonathan London

WHERE THE BIG FISH ARE

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Two friends decide to build a raft to sail out to where the big fish are. Scavenging for the necessary materials, they find some old railroad ties stuck in the ground and haul the long, heavy load down to the river. It’s there they realize the raft must be buoyant. At dinner, one boy solves the problem through trial and error, arranging fish sticks and doughnuts on his plate. Procuring inner tubes, more railroad ties, rope, hammers, and nails, the boys work very hard on their shared project. When they put the raft in the water and it actually floats, they are elated by their accomplishment and plan their excursion for the next day. That night a huge storm almost destroys everything. The narrator wakes to find his cautious friend already down at the dock struggling to hold onto the raft by the rope, “as if he was hauling in a huge fish,” but the raft is swept away. Morning comes and the boys begin searching for their creation, although Bill is convinced it’s a goner. Downstream they come upon the wreckage and it seems like a lost cause. Bill surprises his friend when he suggests they start building again, and together they fix up the storm-ravaged raft and make it out to sea. London’s story is a wonderful tale about friendship, independence, intelligence, and the satisfaction derived from persevering to overcome obstacles in order to achieve a goal. Gustavson (The Day Eddie Met the Author, see above, etc.) fills two-page spreads with rich paintings that immerse readers into the wet and wild world the two boys experienced one unforgettable summer. (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-7636-0922-6
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2001




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