Friday, June 15, 2012
Piggy and Dad Go Fishing by David Martin, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
Rating: 3.5 stars
You would have been amused if you were a fly on the wall when I read this to Lorelei and Ben.
In the story, Piggy is thrilled to finally go fishing with his father. So he digs up some worms and trots off behind his piggy pop. They get lakeside and pop tells son: bait the hook.
Enter the conversation with Lorelei and Ben: "What does 'bait' mean, Mommy?" Hmmm. So I explain, honestly, that you stick the worm on the hook and cast him into the water in order to lure the fish over to the hook. Then the fish has to look at the worm and say, "I want to eat him for lunch!" and go awwwgph!* and chomp on the hook. And then you can pull the fish up and say, "I want to eat him for lunch!" I like this explanation, though a little concerned that they'll be concerned about how worms really get the raw end of the deal.
But they are satisfied with my explanation, so I move on.
Piggy tries to drape the smiley worm over the hook. He slides off. Piggy tries to tie the smiley worm in a knot around the hook. He slides off. His father gently explains that you're going to have to "poke the hook into the worm." Piggy looks at the smiley worm, then at his father. "Let's use bread instead."
WHAT?! I just explained that whole bait thing for no reason?! Man.
So they use bread as bait and fall asleep waiting (sometimes it bothers me how stereotypes are both reflected and made in children's books...). Then a fish bites and they reel it in. Piggy is excited.
Enter the conversation with Lorelei and Ben: "What are they going to do with the fish, Mommy?" Hmmm. Well, they are going to eat him. When we eat our salmon and our meat, it's because they've been caught for us to eat. (Inside, I'm crossing my fingers and toes and begging them not to become vegetarians. My menu challenges would be unbearable.)
And then Piggy looks at the smiley fish and...throws him back.
WHAT?!? I just explained how we kill animals for meals for no reason?! MAN!
In the end, Piggy and Dad decide to go "feed-the-fish fishing," where they ball up pieces of bread from their sandwiches, throw them in, and watch the fish chomp on them happily. The next day they bring the fish donuts.
A slightly exasperating read for me, personally, but now that I've given you a head's up you won't have such a hard time. You're welcome.
* What onomatopoeia is appropriate to describe the sound of a fish eating a worm off a hook? I am stumped. Feel free to add your own if you're so inclined.