cover image Jangles: A Big Fish Story

Jangles: A Big Fish Story

David Shannon. Scholastic/Blue Sky, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-545-14312-7

The heroes of most picture books are furry and adorable. Not Shannon’s (Too Many Toys!) trout Jangles, who lunges out of a spread with his gold eye gleaming, fins tense, underslung jaw studded with dozens and dozens of fishing lures and hooks: “They clinked and clattered as he swam. That’s why he was called Jangles.” The unnamed narrator’s father shares a story his father told him, a highly embellished tale about his father’s boyhood, when Jangles was the fish everyone wanted to catch. The trout’s wily ways were the stuff of myth: “[H]e ate eagles from the trees that hung out over the lake and full-grown beavers that strayed too far from home” (a spray of feathers and a glimpse of trout tail can be seen in midair as an astonished beaver looks on). The boy in the story catches Jangles—he claims—but few will foresee what happens next, in a series of events that owe both to folklore and suburban legend. Picture-book art doesn’t get much more rousing than this; for anglers in particular and adventure lovers in general, it’s a slam-dunk. Ages 4–up. (Oct.)