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Arlene sardine (edition 1998)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0531301117, Hardcover)"So you want to be a sardine." Although not every reader will personally relate to the opening presumption of Chris Raschka's Arlene Sardine, all will appreciate his lively approach to the humble story of an unsung heroine. Arlene starts out as a little fish who knows exactly what color her parachute is--the slippery gray-green of a sardine. Her career takes off when she and a few of her "ten hundred thousand friends" are caught in a purse net and thrown onto the deck of a fishing boat. After taking her last gilled gasp, Arlene is sorted, salted, smoked, packed in oil, et voilà, her dream has come true!
While some adults may read this tale as either a morbid take on the traditional fish story or a thinly veiled call to vegetarianism, it is intended to be neither. Grownups occasionally need reminding that for children, the concept of death is not nearly so fraught with fear and panic and heartache as it is for adults. Arlene isn't much bothered by it either. She knows that sardines are, by definition, dead fish--she simply marks her target and shoots for it.
Raschka earned a Caldecott Honor for Yo! Yes?, and his Mysterious Thelonious garnered acclaim as the New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of 1997. In Arlene Sardine, he uses exuberant pastel watercolors and bold, abstract strokes to bring the undersea world alive (and keep it kicking even after the sea life is dead). His text is typically minimal and musical: "Then she was smoked, delicately. She was delicately smoked. Delicately smoked was she." Children will enjoy this matter-of-fact yet playful telling of one tiny fish's journey to sardinehood (and in the process discover words like fjord, thronging, and hermetically), and parents may also learn a thing or two by loosening up and swimming along for the ride. (Ages 4 to 8) --Brangien Davis
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:31 -0400)
Follows the short life of Arlene, from brisling to canned sardine.
(summary from another edition)
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