Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Dear Fish Hardcover – May 10, 2006
Discover 10 Valuable Children’s Books and Affordable Alternatives
Dust off those boxes, cross your fingers and pray you have one of these. Learn more on AbeBooks.com
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
From School Library Journal
Grade 1-4 While visiting the beach with his family, Peter Alan unwittingly causes chaos when he tosses a bottled message into the sea inviting the fish to visit him. Soon after, a variety of underwater creatures begins showing up in Peter's hometown, and marine mayhem ensues from the school to the beauty parlor and beyond. It is only when the boy writes a second note explaining to the fish that they need to return home that the townsfolk can begin to recover from these unexpected guests. The text has a rich vocabulary, and teachers looking for a read-aloud that ties in with a lesson on action words will find this story a gold mine since it is chock-full of examples. Boldly colored illustrations combine clay-engraved art with digital effects to give the pages a three-dimensional look. Readers who enjoy poring over pictures that are layered with meaning on both the literal and figurative levels will find much to explore here. Gall has included 10 puns in his artwork. Some readers will quickly recognize the most obvious peanut butter and jellyfish, and the tool-related pun involving a sawfish and hammerhead shark. The others, however, will require a bit more study. Reminiscent of the fantastical work of David Wiesner and Chris Van Allsburg, Gall's art will hook more than a few readers. Maura Bresnahan, High Plain Elementary School, Andover, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Chris Gall is the award-winning author and illustrator of Dear Fish, There's Nothing to Do on Mars, and his most recent, Dinotrux, a Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of 2009. His books have received numerous starred reviews and awards including a Borders Original Voices Book for 2006 for Dear Fish and a Kirkus Best Children's Book for 2008 for There's Nothing to Do on Mars. Chris has won a multitude of awards from organizations like the Society of Illustrators and Communication Arts Magazine, and is also the illustrator of America the Beautiful, a Publishers Weekly's Best Children's Book of 2004. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
Dear Fish: You should visit us someday. Plus my Mom makes good pies.
Well... just what exactly happens when the fish take Peter up on his invitation and go on a magical "field trip??"
Dear Fish is the hilarious and very cute story, which reveals the "flipping and the flopping; the gurgling and the slurping..." of fish on their adventurous trip out of water! Delightful illustrations depict "fish on vacation" as they hit home runs, buck off cowboys at rodeos, assist in the building of tree houses and more!
Chris Gall's talents are wonderfully showcased in this terrific kid's book. If you enjoyed his previous book America the Beautiful, as much as I did - Dear Fish is not to be missed! I promptly ordered 10 copies for all the young and old (but very young at heart) people in my life.
Now, we'll just have to wait to see what happens when the fish reciprocate the invitation and Peter's family visit them ....Under the Sea!
When Peter Alan visited the beach with his family, he had a wonderful time. Such a good time, in fact, that he found a bottle and placed the following note in it: "Dear Fish, Where you live is pretty cool. You should come visit us someday. Plus my Mom makes good pies. Sincerely, Peter Alan". Peter has no idea, however, of what he has wrought until next morning. Suddenly, the town is infested with curious fish. They're in Peter's bathtub and popping up in people's popcorn. They're being blown up like balloons and "helping" out at the beauty parlor. It's a bit of a problem. Peter comes home from school feeling, "more than a little slimy" so he writes a very nice thank-you note to the fish hinting broadly that it's time to leave. The fish take the hint and everything returns back to normal. That is, until Peter finds a note in a bottle on the shore not long thereafter. A note reading, "Dear Humans..."
A good illustrator (i.e. Gall) is one thing. A good illustrator who knows how to write for children, however, is entirely another. Gall has a very good ear for writing sentences that lend themselves to reading aloud. The book is punctuated with sounds like, "a crash, a smash, a wiggling and a jiggling". Or , "chomping and a slurping, a gnawing and a burping". None of this comes across as forced or feeling like the artist is trying too hard. I can't imagine anything worse than a book this purty ruined by bad writing. By the way, on Gall's endpapers he places all the fish that appear in this book with clear and concise labels saying what their names are. There is also a small note reading, "There are 10 fish puns within the pictures of this book. Can you find them?". I'm twenty-eight years old and I found six at most. Be sure to check both the front AND the endpapers since different fish are labeled on both. And since the library I work in is the kind of library that tends to glue such covers directly to the books (shudder) I know some of this information will be lost. Lackaday.
As for the pictures themselves, they definitely resemble brightly colored woodcuts. A quick glance at the publication page, however, and we find that they are created by (deep breath everyone), "hand engraving clay-coated board and then digitizing with Adobe Illustrator for adjustments and color". I haven't a clue what that means ("clay-coated board", when said aloud, sounds like a colloquial way of phrasing one's own boredom), but however it's done, it's drop dead gorgeous in the end. If I could frame any print from this book I would take the image of the mother with the octopus on her head and place it on my wall to look at each and every day. Lovely lovely loveliness. There are also some nice little details that could get lost in all the eye-popping splendor. For example, when a school of fish invade a children's classroom (that's ONE pun I found), you can definitely see a kid holding his nose at the onslaught. One stinky fish is one thing. Dozens and dozens of stinky fish is quite another.
What's most interesting about these pictures, though, is the time period Gall has placed these pictures in. It's veeeery 1950s. From Mom going to the beauty parlor and baking pies to Dad building a treehouse, mowing the lawn, and loading up the old wood-sided station wagon, Gall has set his story firmly in small-town America. All the usual tropes are here. Baseball games, rodeos, and small classrooms with chalkboards. Nostalgia is very big in picture books these days, and Gall is obviously making use of the fact. If that's your bag, cool. If not, just know what this book is like beforehand.
"Dear Fish" bears perhaps the greatest resemblance to David Wiesner's, "Tuesday". Simply substitute frogs for fish. Just the same, "Dear Fish" stands entirely on its own. It doesn't overdo the puns (thank heavens) and is just a great story to read to children. The fact that you'll stare entranced at the purdy pictures is just a bonus, really. In a word, stunning. Well worth a glance or two.
Most recent customer reviews
Doing so might seem harmless enough, but when Peter Alan caps a perfect day at the beach by tossing a note to...Read more