Score: 90/100 (9.0 out of 10)
This short little book is pure fun and entertainment!
All Grandpas Fish is a book that concerns a series of tall tales by Grandpa Tom who relates these stories to his young granddaughter, Mary, on a fishing trip.
Grandpa Tom is quite a yarn weaver and a masterful storyteller! The grand majority of Grandpa Tom's tall tales are about his supposed huge catches while fishing, all the way from a huge catfish to Dorothy's silver slippers from The Wizard of Oz. There's even a close encounter in here with a tornado/water spout in the midst of a fishing trip. It's not overly scary for children to hear this as a it is presented in a rather comical way.
This book really borders on being a children's book, albeit a somewhat unconventional one. It could even be read to a child at bedtime or circle time. There's a whimsical, fanciful bend to it that's infinitely charming and endearing.
It reminded us a lot of Big Fish, the Tim Burton movie. Similar to Big Fish it begins with a family gathering that culminates in one of grandpa's wacky, wild tall tales: the catching of the titular “big fish.”
Our favorite thing about this book was actually how it incorporated aspects of American legends and folklore into a modern story. This book contains some familiar figures like Paul Bunyan and Babe the Big Blue Ox. However, it also contained some figures who were new to us. For example, we didn't know about Alfred Bulltop Stormalong, a legendary figure who is said to have cried so much (from missing the sea) that he created the Great Salt Lake.
We didn't know about Slue-foot Sue who supposedly traveled by catfish. We didn't know about Casey Jones—a real person—who saved a lot of passengers lives on a train, sacrificing his life for them in the process.
Jean Sot and Bourdreaux were also new to us, and it fascinating to think there are two goofy, silly, slap-stick characters who are well known in another part of the country (Louisiana).
The story of Pecos Bill is also featured in this book, the story of a man who lassoed a twister (tornado)!
This is a fun little collection of short stories you can share with your children.
Check it out on Amazon!