Wally the Walking Fish Meets Madison and Cooper by Gary Lamit
From the back:
Get ready for fun and laughter as three very unusual friends seek adventure, in education Gary Lamit’s Wally the Walking Fish Meets Madison and Cooper. Madison is a pig-tailed little girl and one day, she and her huge, hungry , yellow lab named Cooper discover a marvel at the local pond: a walking fish! They’ve never heard of a walking fish, but even more wonderful, this critter is also a talking fish whose name is Wally! As the group explores their pond, dunes, and forest they all begin to understand the world around them a little better.
This is a cute little story about three friends learning about the natural world around them. The fantasy aspect of talking animals is great for kids. Amber and I loved the dog, who was always hungry and grumbling about it. The pastel illustrations are beautifully done and go with the text perfectly. I also like the photos of the real Madison and Cooper that were included in the front.
A lot of nature facts are spread throughout the book in little text boxes, which were great additions to the stories. We learned about walking catfish, which I wasn’t aware existed, beavers, mudskippers and flying fish. We also learned about mushrooms, including that you should never eat wild ones. We actually do hunt for morel mushrooms in the spring and we’re not exactly mushroom experts, so that may have been tough to explain if Amber were younger. On the other hand, she doesn’t eat any mushrooms anyway, so maybe it doesn’t matter.
My one complaint is that when we read this aloud one evening, I found the way it was formatted a little tough to figure out quickly who was saying what. There were no quotation marks, no “she said”s, nothing aside from the words to tell us who was speaking when. It wasn’t a huge problem, but it could be a bit confusing.
Overall, this was a fun and educational story for younger kids. I hope we’ll see more of Wally’s adventures in the future.
Thanks to the author and WalkingFish Books for sending us our copy. The suggested reading level is 2-7 years old.