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From the Little Fish series

by Lucy Cousins ; illustrated by Lucy Cousins

Pub Date: March 5th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5362-0612-8
Publisher: Candlewick

Mommy Fish and Little Fish swim, play, and explore.

Cousins’ rhyming board book is all about mother-child love. Little Fish describes a day with Mommy Fish spent playing peekaboo, exploring a cave while conquering fears, and sharing kisses. Cousins’ trademark style is on full display with the bright, gouache illustrations and hand-lettered text. The illustrations are simple yet bold and inviting. They work especially well on a spread full of brightly swimming fish, alive with color that appears to create texture. Both Little Fish and Mommy Fish wear the same expressions throughout the story, excepting their kiss at the end, conveying a vague sense of happy awe. While it aligns with the simplicity of the illustrations, it doesn’t quite fit with all of Little Fish’s experiences. Little Fish’s gender is not named, enhancing its accessibility to readers. As narrated, many of Little Fish’s observations read as appropriately childlike, such as “My mommy’s orange, just like me. We both have yellow spots” (a statement that may make this book difficult to share in mixed-race and/or adoptive families). The verse works well, save the last page which bends a grammar rule to push along the rhyme. Overall, the pacing and the rhythm are the right amount of bounce for a little one on a lap.

High appeal to fans of Cousins but not revolutionary in the field of books about parent-child love.

(Board book. 1-3)