The Only Fish in the Sea

illus. by Matthew Cordell. 40p. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter Bks. Aug. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626722828.
RedReviewStarPreS-Gr 2—With comic urgency, a boy races on his bicycle to tell his friend Sadie the story of spoiled Little Amy Scott, who declared that her birthday goldfish was BORING and walked across town to unceremoniously throw it off the dock. The boy, Sherman, asks Sadie if she could imagine that poor fish, still in its bag and floating away, bringing the prologue to an end and spurring Sadie into action. She names the fish Ellsworth, plots a course, and gathers fishing gear, weather-appropriate clothes, a bucket of paint, and 21 pink balloons. A half-dozen monkeys join the kids on their journey as crewmen, adding to the zaniness established by the loose pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations. Readers will admire Sadie's unflappable, no-nonsense response to the dangers at sea, though this is just one of the many gloriously funny details.
VERDICT A contemporary tall tale fueled by the characters' genuine caring and heart. Best read one-on-one to feast on the clever cartoon artwork.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing