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The Walking Fish Paperback – April 1, 2015
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About the Author
Kopel Burk is a retired New Jersey physician who writes, sculpts, and travels in his spare time. He conceived the idea for Walking Fish more than 40 years ago, when he told early versions of the story to his family. He lives in Millburn, New Jersey. Rachelle Burk writes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for children. She is the author of Don’t Turn the Page and Tree House in a Storm and has written for national children’s publications including Highlights Magazine, Kidsville News, and Scholastic Science World. She lives in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
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Top Customer Reviews
The writing creates a world that the reader slips into easily and comfortably. I was captivated by the charm of the characters and the uncomplicated elegance of the writing. The story combines biology and geology in both academic and adventure settings that capture the readers’ interest and imagination. The explanations of scientific terms are straightforward, sending the message that science is not difficult. The plot and settings draw the reader into the art of field research with excitement such as helicopter rides and spelunking. The characters are memorable. I particularly liked Rachelle's portrayal of Simon, a gifted but awkward teen.
I absolutely loved the first chapter. The exchange of puns between the main character and her grandfather felt warm and loving. Rachelle brings us back to the beginning in the last chapter, which closes the story with a similar scene. This makes the book neatly complete. The best part is that this book is about science! Science rules!
The protagonist Alexis has so much determination and perseverance, a quality that is incredibly inspirational to younger children. This is definitely a book I would recommend as a cute, young read either for yourself or a younger sibling/child.
As a fan of Neil Shuban’s Your Inner Fish, I was excited to see the publication of The Walking Fish which serves as an excellent introduction for younger readers into the realm of STEM related subjects. When notified of its impending release, I immediately accepted the opportunity to review a copy from the publisher.
It is an excellent choice to be used as supplemental curriculum in a science class, ELA class or an interdisciplinary class when combined with the free high quality teaching guide (pdf) found on the publisher’s website. Extension activities are provided to differentiate instruction and links are included to additional resources. As an ELA supplement, it addresses both key concepts and skills. For science classes, it covers key concepts in Life Science and Earth Systems.
Beyond academics, The Walking Fish is equally appealing as a choice for ‘reading for pleasure’. The plot and character development are superb. The authors obviously did their research as evidenced by their accurate portrayal of scientific facts woven into the story. I look forward to more adventures for Alexis and her friend, Darshan, in the coming years.
I loved the well-developed characters and enjoyed following them through their personal challenges, each one stimulating others in the story to grow personally through honest dialog and interaction. Plenty of descriptive imagery to create the scene and keep the story alive without bogging it down with details.
Written from the perspective that a young teen can easily relate to, we see Alexis sail through disappointments and victories with her friends, family, and community. Her quest for satisfying her innate curiosity about the opposite gender led her to several embarrassing moments from which she learned about social interaction with peers and adults.
Mystery, intrigue, danger, and real-to-life characters and situations! The author cleverly manipulated of the storyline to weave blurbs of academic, historical, and scientific interests through the characters’ inner and outer dialog.
I look forward to sharing this story with my grandchildren!