Fish—big, small and many—visually tell their tales as three underwater adventures converge in a cleverly developed wordless graphic format.
Following the design of its predecessor, BirdCatDog (2014), the book presents three different narratives that can be read individually or as one cohesive story. The first thread follows a bright, lemony yellow tang fish (think a yellow version of Dory from Disney's Finding Nemo) as it swims through a vast ocean, determined in its solitude. Next, a large, menacing barracuda confidently prowls the depths looking for its next meal, thinking itself nearly invincible in its place at the upper echelon of the food chain. The third story offers myriad different fishes banded together to gain protection as a group. When the barracuda goes after the smaller fishes, it learns the small can be mighty, and there may always be some bigger than you. (Echoes of Swimmy resound.) Like peering into an aquarium, Nordling and Bosch's tale is quiet, but it’s swimmingly bright with the vibrantly vivid spectrum of underwater life. Readers may well feel they can “hear” the fish gliding through the water. For those familiar with BirdCatDog, some of the tripartite format’s novelty may have worn off, but this exercise in character point of view is still sharply evinced.
A peaceful meditation that should delight readers with its multiplicity of composition. (Graphic adventure. 4-8)