A MILLION FISH...MORE OR LESS by Patricia C. McKissack


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Out fishing on the Bayou Clapateaux, young Hugh Thomas listens with delight when Papa-Daddy and Elder Abbajonto happen by to tell him a tall tale concerning a 500-pound turkey, a Spanish conquistador's lantern that's still burning, and ""the longest, meanest cottonmouth I ever did see."" After they leave, Hugh Thomas catches just three small fish--and then imagines an even taller tale to tell the men: he catches a million fish, but the crocodiles demand half, and he's able to keep only half of the remainder by winning a jumprope contest with some piratical raccoons on his way home. Most of the rest disappear while he's talking to his friend Miss Challie Pearl: Did her cat get them? Still, he has those first three fish, just enough for supper. Though it doesn't have quite the enchantment of the author's Flossie and the Fox (1986), this lively, well-cadenced tale makes a good African-American counterpart to Seuss's classic And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. In her picture book debut, Schutzer provides freely rendered oil paintings with bold strokes of vibrant color that are especially effective at a distance--fine for groups.

Pub Date: Feb. 10th, 1992
ISBN: 0679880860
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Knopf