A clever girl finds a way for her goldfish to participate in her class’s pet parade.
Maxine loves her pet fish, Milton. She also “likes making new things…from old things.” Throughout, the quasi-collaged appearance of the digital art style seems right at home with Maxine’s activities. Spiro describes Maxine’s inventive efforts with such verbs as “tinkered” and “repurposed” as she makes Melvin “a spectacular tank” and “a pedal-powered fish-feeder.” But her pièce de résistance is inspired when her teacher informs the class that they will host a pet parade at school. How will legless Melvin join them? Determined to prove some less-than-charitable classmates wrong, Maxine creates a “FISHMOBILE PET PARADE FLOAT.” It’s not quite clear why the contraption needs to be so elaborate in order to solve the problem of how Melvin can join Maxine. Why not just put a lid on the fishbowl and place it on a wagon? But, her ultimate creation adds more fun to the story (and more verbs: “fixed and fiddled,” “up-cycled,” “de-constructed and re-constructed”), as do Spiro’s many humorous asides and Hatam’s joyful, expressive illustrations. Maxine presents white, and her classmates are diverse.
Another worthy book for the girl-inventor shelf. (Picture book. 3-7)