cover image Fish Stories

Fish Stories

Nicholas Heller. Greenwillow Books, $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-06931-5

Goofy, pertly idiosyncratic cartoon illustrations in bright colors carry the three ""fishy'' stories in Heller's first book for children. A young, doggy-looking, T-shirted narrator recounts his fishing misadventures and attempts (which backfire) by a wizard to rectify them. In one, he catches a fish so big that it won't fit into the house; the wizard accidentally makes the fish so much bigger that it destroys the structure. In the last one, the narrator comes across the wizard fishing and as with many such expeditions, they end up eating food from a store. The lesson of these mild stories, where more is subtly implied than stated outright, seems to be that misdeeds that come from good intentions cause no ill-will. The unlikely friendship that springs up between these two adds just the right genial touch. Ages 5-8. (March)