From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1 Lerch, a goldfish wearing a red hat, tells of his isolated, solitary life. He talks in speech bubbles, reminding himself to Swim. Swim, just to fill the quiet void. He asks the pebbles at the bottom of his aquarium if they will be his friends. No answer. So he attempts to start a conversation with a small underwater diver and with the bubbles from the aerator, to no avail. When a cat plucks Lerch from his watery home and calls him Lunch, it appears to be the end for our finned friend, but the end turns into a beautiful beginning. Large, childlike illustrations done in ink and Photoshop, with everything outlined in thick black lines, have aqua, purple, and blue backgrounds. The large font and few words make this simple story of friendship accessible to early readers. As author and illustrator, Lerch is a pseudonym for James Proimos. Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI
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Lerch the goldfish wants a friend, which is difficult since he's the only fish in his tank. Undaunted, he swims around his tank, talking to the gravel, the plastic undersea diver, and the bubbles, though sadly none of them answer him. Just when he thinks he's as lonely as a fish can be (in a wonderfully empty two-page spread), a cat arrives outside the tank and talks to Lerch. But, uh-oh, he calls him Lunch. Fear not, though, as young readers and storytime audiences will be greatly relieved by the final, friendly twist to the story. Though Lerch gets the credit for this picture book, James Proimos is responsible for the art and story. He uses the comic-book format, with panels and word balloons, to great effect here; Lerch's repeated “Swim! Swim!” can be a nice storytime chant. The bright colors and clear art match the simple story and will attract the youngest read-to-me set. Preschool. --Kat Kan