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FLOOD FISH by Robyn Eversole


by Robyn Eversole & illustrated by Sheldon Greenberg

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-517-59705-5
Publisher: Crown

When it rains in the arid Australian outback a river that has been dry fills up with water, and with fish. Big fish. Nobody is sure where they come from, but the boy narrating the story thinks that perhaps the rocks in the bed feel the water and their sides crack open into gills. Everyone has opinions, but no real answers. When the river dries up again, the fish are gone, leaving no trace. It's a mystery. Eversole (The Magic House, 1992) grounds the story in facts in an author's note. The phenomenon is worthy of comment, but the brief text, with its mix of speculation and outright fantasy, is labored, and no match for the glorious illustrations. The oil paintings, with the texture of the canvas still visible, feature broad swaths of intense color: aquamarine in swimming scenes, the violet gray of a rainy day, and the brilliant red earth of the outback. (Picture book. 4-8)