Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale

illus. by Aledandra Boiger. 40p. Random/Schwartz & Wade Bks. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780375869181. LC 2012047195.
K-Gr 2—Doreen, a fish with bad luck and an optimistic temperament, is on the way to visit her cousin. When Doreen spies a delicious dragonfly, she snaps it up, not realizing it's a lure and that she's just been caught by a fisherman. One potentially catastrophic event after another happens to her, but with her serene attitude, she sees nothing but good: being put in the fisherman's pail is a chance for her to rest, and after being snapped up by a great blue heron, Doreen thanks him for accompanying her on her trip. A wary narrator relays the story of the fish's perilous journey to see her relative and is the voice of reason, and doom, alongside Doreen's obliviousness. Repetition of phrases, and the humorous and cautionary asides make this perfect for reading aloud. Delightful illustrations in watercolor, gouache, and colored pencil show a smiling small blue and pink polka-dotted fish wearing a red babushka and sporting a red umbrella. A charming tale with an endearing—and enduring—heroine.—Maryann H. Owen, Children's Literature Specialist, Mt. Pleasant, WI
Fish Doreen swims leisurely upstream oblivious to danger: a fisherman dangling his hook and Great Blue Heron looking for dinner. Even when the fisherman catches her, and later when the heron snaps her up, she remains blissfully, naively unconcerned, seeing only positives ("I'M FLYING!"). Bright illustrations and the narrator's urgent warnings ("Oh dear, Doreen. No. Not Flying. FALLING.") make this an enjoyable read-aloud.

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