Nonfiction Monday: Gone Fishing
Gone Fishing written and illustrated by David McLimans. Walker, 2008 (978-0-8027-9770-4) $16.99
This follow-up to the Caldecott Honor book Gone Wild: an Endangered Animal Alphabet counts from one to ten and then back again, illustrating the numbers with stylized, folk-art drawings of endangered sea creatures. Drawn in blue, white and black, against blue or black backgrounds, the pictures are very striking, though squeezing the animals into the shapes of the numbers is sometimes an exercise in imagination. Each page also contains a more realistic drawing plus some basic information about the creature: class, habitat, regions, threats and endangered status. A "Diving Deeper" section at the end offer more detail on each one, and there is also a section on ocean facts by tens: "Less than 1 percent of water on Earth is freshwater. In every fisherman's haul of shrimp, the nets catch up to 10 times the weight of the shrimp in other species, which is then trashed. Giant kelp, the fastest-growing plant in the ocean, can grown up to 100 feet long in little more than a year."
As nonfiction this book is a little dry, no pun intended, but numbers that come with tentacles, bulging eyes and sharp teeth are an immediate eye-catcher, and the creative use of limited colors and negative space only adds to the strong visual appeal. (5-10)
copyright 2009 Wendy E. Betts
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