Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book one hundred and sixty-six

Trying to make friends can be complicated, no matter how old you are. Sometimes you just can't find the right people, and sometimes there just aren't that many people around. The main character in today's story, who is a fish,  desperately wants to have a friend, but he lives in a fish tank alone. Not surprisingly, trying to make friends is going to be a tad difficult.

Swim! Swim!Swim Swim
James Proimos
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 8
Scholastic, 2010, 978-0-545-09419-1
  Lerch is a little fish who lives in a fish tank, and he is lonely. He needs a friend, and so he sets off to try to find one. After a little bit of a swim, he asks the pebbles in the bottom of his tank if they will be his friends. For some reason, the pebbles refuse to respond. Lerch does not let their behavior get him down, and he swims off to find a friend somewhere else.
   Soon he comes across a little figurine of a diver who is sitting on the bottom of the tank. Very politely Lerch asks the diver if he will be his friend. No answer. Poor Lerch leaves thinking that the diver does not want to talk to him either.
   When Lerch meets a group of bubbles he even goes so far as to talk bubble to them when he realizes that they probably don’t talk fish. The poor fellow is devastated when the bubbles float to the surface and pop. Isn’t there anyone out there who loves him?
   Children will love the bright colorful comic book style art in this clever, funny, and ultimately sweet story. The author allows his audience to think that poor Lerch is heading for disaster, and then he turns everything around to give us a surprising and highly satisfying ending.
   

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