“You’re not a fish!” I said to the snake. “Of course I’m not, for goodness sake!”
I’m so happy to be restarting my children’s book reviews! I’ve recently revisited my own children’s book, Little Caroline and my excitement for getting it published is overwhelming. I’ve found the perfect illustrator and now all that is left to do is hope and pray she’ll want to work with me.
Now, the book I most recently read through gave me hope that my own story will work and that just one day, I’ll be able see my own book in print. It’s been incredibly encouraging. With bold colours, cute characters and a moral that every child should keep close to them, this book is simply perfect.
No Fish For Charles by Tracy Detz is a delightful story about Charles the croc. He loves to fish, but he seems to have the worst luck in the world. He sounds a bit like me actually – I love to write, but I can’t seem to finish a single novel! The story of my life. I think me and Charles could be friends…
Charles decides to skip school one day (uh oh) and proceeds to sneak away to do his favourite pastime instead of sitting in on his lessons – fishing! If you’re thinking, “Well, why is this book encouraging children to skip school?” all will be revealed. The moral of the story is quite the opposite.
His luck continues to get worse throughout the book. Every time he goes to fish and thinks he’s caught a huge one, he pulls out other things that definitely aren’t what he hoped for! The snake he pulls out of the water really doesn’t take kindly to the disturbance, but Charles made sure he put him back, as he should do. The fish in the sea are cleverly mocking him and making sure he grabs anything but one of their own.
Charles ends up in a bit of a pickle when a whale ends up on the other side of the fishing rod! He gets swallowed up and panics. How will he get out? Who will save him? All he wanted was a day out of school to do something different, something much more interesting, but now, I think he kind of wished he’d actually gone to school in the first place.
A group of the most unlikely characters from the book come to his rescue – the clever school of fish and the principal who managed to avoid his bait. Freddy the principal makes sure Charles knows of his mistakes, and he finally realises that school is the place for him. He’ll not be making that mistake again any time soon!
The best bits…
The first thing that I must mention about this book is the illustrations. Created by illustrator, Monika Suska, they’re perfect for the 5-8 age range and they capture the best scenes in the story. They’re bright, funny and detailed and the style really grabs your attention. Charles’ dorky self is such a lovable character, and Monika has captured his personality really well in her artwork. I particularly liked the design for the whale too – very cute!
I also really enjoyed the repetition and rhyming in the book. It’s a well known fact that repetition is great for a kids book and the rhyming words make it flow brilliantly. The text on each page is in short snippets, perfect for you to take in what is happening throughout the book alongside the great illustrations.
In fact, if I’m being completely honest, there isn’t a single negative comment I wish to make about this book. Everything about it is lovable and I am confident that No Fish For Charles would be a perfect addition to your child’s bookshelf. (And yours, if you’re a big kid at heart!)
The moral of the story…
Kids…don’t skip school. Charles had the worst luck and everything seemed to go wrong because he’d skipped school one day. The fish, because they’d gone to school, were much cleverer at dodging Charles’ bait. I really loved the moral of the story, the fact that it isn’t just a book for enjoyment, but a book that children can learn from too.
Thank you so much to Tracy Detz for submitting your beautiful book for review. You can find No Fish For Charles on Barnes & Noble or Amazon, available in hardcover and paperback. You can follow No Fish For Charles on Facebook, or Tracy over on Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date! 📚
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