A piranha who dreams of dining in the finest restaurants? Not your usual fish tale!
Samson doesn’t want to be like the other piranhas, who eat the same boring food every day (depicted bloodlessly as fish bones), stick close to home, and enjoy their comfortable old routines. Samson doesn’t want to be just another fish in the sea. He wants adventure—to explore and to swim upstream. But what Samson wants most of all is to eat “fine food in the fanciest restaurants.” But what restaurant would welcome such a frightening customer, with his “fearsome features and terrible teeth”? So, wearing an elaborate disguise and making a reservation under the name Mr. Rana, he succeeds, until he suffers a costume malfunction and everyone scatters. Solution? Open his own restaurant and serve all of those other mask-wearing fish looking only for good food and a place to fit in. Styling Samson with enormous eyes and a cute underbite, Bentley’s pen-and-ink illustrations manage to make a fearsome piranha look earnest and endearing as he seeks to be himself and find his place in the world. Attractive endpapers establish the theme with careful table settings awaiting schools of fishy customers. In the final spread, it isn’t Samson wearing a disguise, and young readers will delight in recognizing just who that is behind the mask.
Young readers will be hooked. (Picture book. 4-7)