I am fortunate to kickoff the blog tour for E.S. Farber's new middle grade series Fish Finelli. I have to say in passing that Chronicle Books is one of my very favorite publishing companies (they also are the publisher for Michaela McColl's novels, which I've raved about on this blog before.) Chronicle's books always have great production values, and it's evident that a lot of care has gone into their design. These books are good to hold.
And read, of course! I read Fish Finelli in one sitting, and I'm sure my boys, who are nearly seven and ten would love it too. It's a terrific "boy" book without all that tiresome flatulence and booger jokes. Although there is a scene with goose poop which, as Fish says, "seriously puts the N in Nasty."
What it's About: (From the Chronicle Books catalog)--When bully Bryce Billings bets Fish Finelli that he can’t find Captain Kidd’s legendary long-lost treasure, Fish and his friends embark on a quest to find real-life pirate treasure. Between sneaking into the library to track down Captain Kidd’s map, stowing away on a boat, and trespassing on an island, Fish and his friends have their work cut out for them. But will Fish actually be able to find Captain Kidd’s booty and win the bet?
Opening Lines: "It all started the morning I broke into my lobster piggy bank. I had chosen a basin wrench for the job. It's a good tool for a delicate operation. I know this because my dad is a plumber and taught me lots of stuff about tools."
Why I liked it:
The three amigos -- I really liked Fish and his two buddies, Roger and T.J. Roger is a wisecracker of a sidekick, and T.J. is the grandmaster of snacks. Fish himself is a fount of information (and he doesn't even wear glasses!)
The humor -- The corny jokes are exactly how boys of this age interact. Here's an example from page 82.
"You can say that again," said T.J., grinning.
"That," said Roger.
The adventure -- There's stowing away on boats, trespassing for pirate treasure, and spying on potentially villainous librarians (sorry, librarians!). And the pace moves fast.T.J. threw a malt ball at him.
The illustrations -- These are the work of Jason Beene. Every few pages there is a fun, one-page pictorial spread. The cartoony look fits the narrative to a tee.
The sidebars, packed full of tidbits of information -- As previously mentioned, Fish is a bit of a walking encyclopedia. E.S. Farber has added a number of sidebars to expand information on historical characters mentioned in the narrative (Captain Kidd, Nikola Tesla and Marco Polo), animals (lions and ospreys), and history (the origin of the white flag of surrender, as well as the history of the microwave oven). Cool stuff.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: E.S. Farber is the mother of a boy who likes facts along with his fiction, which inspired her to write Fish Finelli. She has authored numerous books for children. She lives in Amagansett, New York.
Here are the other tour dates:
Youth Literature Reviews
Somewhere in the middle
Ms. Yingling Reads
There's A Book
Thanks for stopping by today. Leave a comment, and you will be entered into a drawing for a giveaway of a copy of Fish Finelli: Seagulls Don't Eat Pickles. Happy Reading!