Flounder!

Anita Turnage
Halo Publishing International (2022)
ISBN: 978-1637652046
Reviewed by Rachel Dehning for Reader Views (12/2022)

Fishing and outdoor sports are excellent ways to keep one active while allowing them a means to have fun and possibly learn something new. When fishing, it can be done alone or with others, and what you’ll (potentially) catch is a mystery. In “Flounder!” siblings Haden, Ella Grace, and Walker are spending the day with their grandparents, Nana T and Pop, by the shore, and are begging to check the crab trap and go fishing! The kids playfully tease Nana T until they are on their way to the water. While there, they spot a fish mixed in with the crabs that looks pretty strange – its body is flat, and it has both eyes on the same side of its head! This sparks a discussion on the fish known as the flounder and makes Haden want to go fishing for a big one. Haden experiences an exciting time while fishing that results in help from Pop, but also a new fishing hat, just like he wanted.

“Flounder!” showcases a happy and carefree family who is respectful of themselves and what’s around them. The love they have for each other is evident in their actions. “Flounder!” is a moment in time memorialized by Nana T to serve as both a keepsake for her and her family as well as a model for others on how to use what’s in nature as a means to learn in a less traditional way than pen and paper. The story contains some mild excitement while pairing as a way of learning.

Note from Lydia (age 8) – “Flounder!” is the story of some kids who are having fun by the water by catching crabs and going fishing. The kids are with their grandparents and learn that they caught a little flounder fish in the crab trap. The oldest boy then wants to try to fish for a big, adult one and thinks that he needs a special hat to help him catch one. The boy almost catches the fish he wanted but when some fish are too big, they will sometimes get away. The story has some funny moments that made me laugh out loud, but it also is a happy story of the family and what happens to them when they try to catch a flounder. I think that any kid would enjoy this story because it is easy to understand and the pictures are colorful and fun to look at. 

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