Fish

Liam Francis Walsh. Roaring Brook/Porter, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62672-333-7
New Yorker cartoonist Walsh’s debut imagines the sea teeming with letters of the alphabet that act like fish. They’re bright red, they swim and school and thrash about, and they can be caught with a pole and hook. When a boy and his dog set out in a rowboat and assemble, over the course of several spreads, an F, an I, an S, and an H, their work seems to be finished—except that they’re beset by As, Bs, and Cs. The triangular As are circling sharks, the Bs swarm like buzzing insects, and a gigantic C wave washes over the boat, dashing the boy’s hopes of bringing his catch home. But the dog has a surprise for him, and Walsh has a surprise for readers, who haven’t realized that the boy has a very specific place he wants to put his letters. Walsh works in a deliciously retro style evocative of both vintage screen prints and the work of Hergé, and his graphic skills and visually storytelling are highly polished. It’s a promising first outing. Ages 5–8. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House. (May)
Reviewed on: 02/22/2016
Release date: 05/31/2016
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