Fish Jam by Kylie Howarth

[I received a review copy from the publisher. No other compensation was received.]

Jazz is an awesome little fish!  He scooba-dooba-diddly-doos all over the place.  He loves, and is great at, making music!  There is only one, rather big, rather important problem.  No one around him (except for a very loyal and very cute puffer fish) wants to hear his incessant improvisations.  The little fish tell him to “Shhhh!” The seals tell him to “Shhhh!” Even the penguins are telling him that he needs to be quiet!  Poor Jazz!  He just wants to jam and let all that music flow out of him and into the world. It’s sad, really. What’s a bee-boppy fish to do?

It all seems pretty hopeless for our hero until — what do you know — something BIG happens.  You might even say something Biblical happens to him.  He gets swallowed by a WHALE!  Yup, a gigantic whale swallows Jazz whole.

You might think, initially, that being swallowed by a whale is a bad thing.  But it isn’t! Guess who is inside of the whale?  Other wonderful bee-boppy sea creatures that just want to jam!  Jazz has found his tribe and it is a musical and happy one!

Fish Jam is such a happy and life-affirming picture book!  It is a fantastic book for everyone, but children and adults who feel different and out of place will find it especially endearing and encouraging.

Recommended Ages Roughly 4 to 7. little bee books. May 5th, 2015. 32 pages. ISBN:978-1499800982 Fiction. Hardcover.

Where to Get it:

You Should Read Fish Jam because:

  • Wonderful, bright, and playful illustrations paired with a vibrant and energetically told story make this book fun to read and bop along to.
  • Fish Jam rings true!  It is easy to identify with Jazz as he feels isolated and different — especially when you’re a kid (or parent) that loves music, singing, or just making some noise.
  • It is a very hopeful story for those that feel that they don’t quite belong or haven’t found their tribe yet.  You may feel like Jazz now — but be patient — you’ll find like-minded people (possible where you least expect them).
  • May I please talk about the illustrations some more?  Because they’re great! They’re playful and the background has an improvisation-like quality to it that mirrors the tone and feel of jazz beautifully.
  • It gives a gentle touch of a reminder that being quiet can be very difficult for some and that kindness and patience are always appreciated.
  • At the end of the story is a definition of scat with a suggestion to use your voice as an instrument.  It suggests that you, “Make up your own funny sounds to jazz up your favorite songs.”  This innocuous little suggestion has led to a lot of giggles and fun in our house.
  • The whale swallowing Jazz is a very surprising turn in the story and had my son utterly shocked that such a thing could happen!  He was then completely delighted when it turned out that this could be the best thing to happen to him.  It gave a great light-hearted teaching moment that sometimes bad things turn out to be good things.
  • It’s a great story with fabulous illustrations that is fun to read with everyone!

Image Courtesy of little bee books. © 2015 Kylie Howarth.

Image Courtesy of little bee books. © 2015 Kylie Howarth.

Author and Illustrator Websites:

More Reviews of this Book:

Where Obtained:  I received a review copy from the publisher. No other compensation was received.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

FTC Disclosures:  Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links and others are IndieBound affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Which goes to fund my family’s picture book habit.  It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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