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Papa's Mechanical Fish

by Candace Fleming
Illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Published by Margaret Ferguson Books/Farrar Strauss Giroux, 2013
40 pages
ISBN: 978𢠥74-399085

Ages 5-8

揝ometimes Papa tries inventing helpful things, like collapsible coat hangers that are easy to store. Sometimes he tries inventing unusual things, like edible socks. And sometimes he tries inventing playful things that just梠nly just梔on抰 work . When the young narrator asks her Papa if he抯 ever wondered what it抯 like to be a fish, his imagination is off and running once again. Papa抯 try-try-again attempts to create an underwater, fishlike boat are far more than a flight of fancy, and far from the subject of ridicule in a family that admires this dreamer and doer, although their appreciation is not without pragmatism. (揢h-oh, says the baby when Papa first gets a faraway look in his eye). He抯 an optimistic, irrepressible inventor who understands the value of failure as a source of important information and further inspiration. Candace Fleming抯 engaging, finely crafted story features a nineteenth-century family that is always up for whatever Papa thinks of next. Her author抯 note discusses eccentric Chicago-area inventor Lodner Phillips, who is the inspiration for this story. Boris Kulikov抯 illustrations get right into the spirit of things, incorporating black-and-white schematics of Papa抯 ideas, and extending the humor, but never at Papa抯 expense.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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