20 February 2008

Big Fish Little Fish

Big Fish Little Fish by Melanie Drewery has just landed on my desk and it's a little treasure for a recently independent reader, and the keen young fishing enthusiasts. Mums, dads and other adult readers could also learn a thing or two, as I did, about how to catch a fish, what sort of fish it is (when you finally get one on the line) and all about whales (which hopefully you won't have on your hook).
A great little tale about a boy entering a fishing competition who takes to the ocean with his grandad, instead of in his mate's speed boat. He's rewarded, not with the biggest fish (and the coveted prize of a 'spinning sure-catch reel and a super twangy snap-resistant rod') but with a tale that reaches back into his family's past, and a pride in his background. It was quite a surprise to suddenly find a friendly tale of fishing with grandad turning to harpoons and whale slaughter, but a nice job is made of showing how things were different in the old days, the excitement and challenge of catching the whale, and why it's no longer a good thing to do.
Some nice playing with words too, phrases repeated then turned around, reliable wisdom from the grandfather.
The story is just the half of it though. There is comprehensive, but simple, info about equipment you need for fishing, how to tie a whole lot of different knots, and types of fish you might catch. Melanie has done her own illustrations too and they balance out the text nicely.
I'm even tempted to have a go myself having made it through several decades and never yet caught even a sprat.
I expect this is the last new book with the Reed imprint on it that I'll find too, now that Raupo is on its way and Reed put to bed forever.

No comments: