David Shannon’s Jangles: A Big Fish Story (The Blue Sky Press, October 1, 2012), combines the exaggeration of the traditional the-one-that-got-away fish story with a mythical twist to make it even more intriguing.
Shannon’s colorful, crowded, action-packed illustrations are worth a look without even reading the story, especially for anyone who enjoys fishing. Colorful and stylish, they are both accurate and fanciful. The cramped composition of the cover sets the tone of the book. Is the cover just too small, or is Jangles, the mythical fish that no one in the town could catch, just too big to fit on the cover?
Jangles not only resists the best anglers on Big Lake, but he may or may not be a lot more than just a fish. He got his name from the collection of metal lures lodged in his mouth that jangle as he swims.
This is a great read-aloud to provoke discussion of what truths story tells and how exaggeration can reveal other truths. Also, the boy in the story faces an ethical dilemma when he makes a deal with Jangles. It should provoke interesting discussions with readers of any age.
The book will be available in October so there’s plenty time to go fishing and gather fish tales of your own.