Review: Something Fishy by Barry Louis Palisar
You may remember that my boy and I enjoy reading poetry together, so I was excited when I was asked to review a new children’s book of poems about fish and other water loving animals.
Something Fishy, by Barry Louis Palisar, is a collection of 15 poems all about creatures that live in the water. My boys were struck by the illustrations immediately. There is a brightly colored one or two page picture for each poem, and many of them are quite funny. The kids were also interested in the creatures Palisar wrote about – some that they were familiar with and some that were new to them.
My younger son’s favorite poem was titled The Crab, and he thought it was very funny that the crab loved to complain so much about his life, but then ends up getting eaten by a bird. My older son’s favorite poem compared alligators and crocodiles and ended by saying, “There are other differences; One has a snout that’s flatter. But if you’re bit by either of one, then none of this would matter.” I liked that on the last page of the book there is some information about each of the animals featured in a poem. We even looked up some more pictures of the kissing fish on the internet (and determined that we would not, in fact, want to kiss it).
Now, both my boys are younger than the target age group for this book, which is age 7-9. However, I think it’s likely that even children in this age group would have a difficult time with some of the vocabulary presented in Something Fishy. I wasn’t real sure how to explain to my four and six year old what an amoeba is! Words like gelatinous, confound, and tedious also present a challenge to young readers and listeners, but if the book is being read by a parent then it’s a great opportunity for vocabulary enrichment.
After we were done reading the book (twice!), my son and niece enjoyed doing a little water themed craft project. I had some little ocean themed sponge creatures left over from a party favor or something, so we put them in warm water and waited for them to come out.
Next we drew an ocean background on a piece of paper. Before we glued them down my son enjoyed telling me a silly story about his creatures (yay storytelling – you can read more about that here!). We glued the sea creatures down to complete our works of art!
This book was provided to me for free, but the opinions expressed are my own.