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A Million Fish...More or Less
Contributor(s): McKissack, Pat, Schutzer, Dena (Illustrator)

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ISBN: 0679880860     ISBN-13: 9780679880868
Publisher: Dragonfly
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: May 1996

Annotation: Illus. in full color. In an original yarn of the Louisiana bayou, McKissack honors the tradition of bragging about the one that got away. Hugh Thomas hears that strange things happen on the Bayou Clapateaux, but he's skeptical--until he invents a fish story of his own.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Fishing; Fiction.
Tall tales.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States
- Juvenile Fiction | Fairy Tales & Folklore
- Juvenile Fiction | Animals
Dewey: [E]
LCCN: 90034322
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 2-3, Age 7-8
Book type: Easy Fiction
Physical Information: 11.00" H x 9.00" W x 0.25" (0.35 lbs)
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 6334
Reading Level: 4.0   Interest Level: Lower Grades   Point Value: 0.5
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q07670
Reading Level: 5.4   Interest Level: Grades 3-5   Point Value: 2.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Patricia C. McKissack is the author of over twenty children's books, including The Dark Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural, which was a Newbery Honor book and a Coretta Scott King Award winner, and the All I’ll Ever Want Christmas Doll. She has also received the Coretta Scott King Award for A Long Hard Journey: The Story of Pullman Porter and Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters. Patricia currently lives in St. Louis.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 1996 June #1)
"Told with verve and sly wit," said PW in a starred review, "this exuberant bayou tale admirably captures the captivating regional cadences and comedy of [an] intrepid fisher boy's adventures.... A splendid collaboration." Ages 5-9. (June) Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 1992 January #4)
Down in Louisiana, young Hugh Thomas has heard many a tale of the extraordinary goings-on in the Bayou Clapateaux--``a mighty peculiar place.'' Given the stories of 500-pound turkeys, lamps that never burn out and snakes that take to their legs and run, it is only natural that Hugh, catching three small fish, should land ``a million more! Big ones, little ones, all sizes.'' Told with verve and a sly wit, this exuberant Bayou tale admirably captures the captivating regional cadences and comedy of the intrepid fisher boy's adventures. Each unlikely event is topped by the next, and despite the snapping 'gators and sneaky raccoons, Hugh Thomas lives to tell his tale with glee. Similarly ebullient and evocative is the Gauguinesque artwork; Schutzer's rainbow palette of thickly daubed paint both portrays and extends the absurdity and vivacious spirit behind the storytelling. This splendid collaboration is a perfect blend of two distinct styles--text and art trying to outdo each other, it seems, with joyous results. Ages 4-8. (Feb.) Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 1992 March)
PreS-Gr 2-- When a black youngster, Hugh Thomas, goes fishing one morning, Papa-Daddy and Elder Abbajon row up like specters out of the mist. They delight and amaze the boy with tall tales, told in the vernacular, of giant turkeys and snakes, mysterious lamps, and strange happenings on the bayou. When they leave, Hugh Thomas embarks on an outlandish adventure of his own. He catches a million fish (more or less), divides his catch with a grand-pere alligator, again with a pack of pirate raccoons, crows, and finally some trickster cats. When he finally reaches Papa-Daddy and the Elder's houseboat, he has only three fish left, and a tale that surpasses theirs. McKissack understands the elements of good story, and includes just enough detail to make it work. Hugh Thomas accepts fantastic animals with ``an uncertain spirit,'' but tackles the problems they present to him, taking only a moment to wonder at their bizarre emergence from the swamp. He lives in an imaginative world that combines exotic realities of the bayou and slips almost imperceptibly into a fantasy that will bemuse readers as much as it does the boy. The vital, action-filled paintings seem naive at first glance. However, viewers will quickly see that each seemingly careless brush stroke works toward a harmoniously integrated whole. Uninhibited splashes of vivid colors highlight forms, fill the pages, and elicit a joyous emotional response to the dynamic human figures. A radiant debut for a talented illustrator. --Ruth Semrau, Lovejoy School, Allen, TX Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information.
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