Hooray for Fish!
Lucy Cousins, . . Candlewick, $14.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-2741-6
Anyone who thought Cousins's Maisy was the ne plus ultra of cute had better make room for Little Fish, her latest star. Yes, he's diminutive (made to seem more so in this oversize volume), but the hero, whose orange, yellow and teal coloring brings to mind a particularly luscious frozen confection, is no chicken of the sea. However much bigger, fatter, flamboyant or even grumpier the other fish may be, Little Fish always offers up a friendly greeting: "Hello, spotty fish, stripy fish, happy fish, gripy fish," says Little Fish, flashing his bright eyes and smiling to the finny passersby (the text is set in the author's signature black, boldly roughhewn typography). Cousins's exuberant illustrations bring new meaning to the old saying, "plenty of fish in the sea." She packs her saturated, neon-hued pages with an undersea menagerie that includes a huge school of tiny minnow-esque fish and a comically preposterous "ele-fish," complete with trunk. Just when readers think there aren't any more fish to meet, Little Fish introduces the "one I love best, even more than all the rest"—his Mom. "Kiss, kiss, kiss," proclaims the text as the two pucker up. "Hooray for fish!" A book that's certain to make an impressive splash, whether read to one youngster or an entire storytime circle. Ages 2-5.
Reviewed on: 05/30/2005
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