Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Barry the Fish with Fingers

Hendra, Sue. 2010. Barry the Fish with Fingers. Illus. by Sue Hendra. NY: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN: 9780375989261.

What could a fish do if it had fingers? Many things! - according to a round and blue fish named Barry that is. Readers are initially introduced to Sea Slug and all the different type of fishes under the sea, but that story changes focus when Barry appears with bright orange fingers at the end of the fins. With his new phalanges, Barry can play with finger puppets, knit a scarf, play the piano, finger paint and tickle. But perhaps the most important thing that he could do was point and shout a saving warning of "Look out!" when a large box landed on the sea floor. After being saved from being squished, one little green fish ask the question on everyone's mind - "...where can we get some of these fingers?" As it turns out, Barry's amazing digits were not spontaneous fin growth, but fish sticks, and the box that floated down to their world was a crate of "Pirate Jack's Tasty Fish Sticks." Now everyone can have some fun. The overall plot is nothing too deep, and fact that Sea Slug has seen all kinda of fishes under the sea is incidental as the book more for pure entertainment and use of our silly imagination. The colorfully bright and clear gouache illustrations fill the pages. The contrast of a blue Barry and his bright orange and crispy looking fingers is wonderfully humorous, and the children will like all the different type of fishes. Be prepared or the one child in the group to say, "But fish sticks are made from fishes!". A fun read nonetheless for storytime or just during some silly time. Remember to read it with some gusto!

*Have the children share what other things a fish could do with fingers.
*Invite the children to create their own fish with fingers picture
*While reading to a group like in storytime, remember to ask the children questions like "Do fish have fingers?" and etc.
*If you are allowed food in your room, share a small meal of fish sticks (along with some fruit!) *after reading the book.

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