cover image Codzilla


David Zeltser, illus. by Jared Chapman. HarperCollins, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06257-067-3

In this comical story of individuality and ingenuity, a giant orange codfish must find a way to embrace his size. Gentle giant and shark-fact enthusiast Bertie towers over his classmates, making an easy target for Maxwell, a fellow cod who persuades classmates to call the fish Codzilla. Pushed to his limit, Bertie snaps; he eats Maxwell and hopes that’s the end of it, but when others protest, the enormous cod is forced to gobble up more classmates (even the school nurse). The opportunity to set things right soon presents itself in the form of a hungry, jacket-wearing shark, against whom Bertie’s size and shark expertise proves deeply useful. Cartoon illustrations by Chapman (Vegetables in Underwear) plainly convey the silliness of the fishy tale by Zeltser (The Night Library) while communicating the very real emotions—anxiety, guilt, and satisfaction—that Bertie’s situation evokes. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (June) [/em]