Posted 20 hours ago

Boo!: A Fishy Mystery

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this was also ace for hsbd eye coordination and fine motor skills as Peapod practiced using the droppers! We’re planning to make some tissue-paper collage fish at some point too, with the overlapping squares of tissue paper creating different shades and colours! And the colours of the book, like the numbers and counting in One Fox, thread through the story with different coloured creatures on each page. I love this post Rachael, the book sounds fabulous and your little Peapod is a lucky little boy being encouraged to be so creative. I loved One Fox by Kate Read which I read for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize back in 2020, and hadn’t realised she had a new one out so I was VERY excited to find this last week!

What begins as a harmless bit of fun soon sees ocean creatures of all kinds and colours swept away with the fast-spreading rumour of something terrible! And there’s also the clever way the words and pictures work together, with the creature’s expressions telling as much of the story as the bubbles of scared speech do! This is my favourite spread from the book – a riotous rainbow of beautiful colours, it’s a textured, expressive and bold sealife snapshot! I found the first on ‘ Busy Toddler’ as an Easter activity but we’d still not tried it, so this was a good chance to give it a go – food colouring under bicarb of soda then drop coloured vinegar on to create a foamy colour mix experiment! Kate Read's stunning illustrations are as rich and bright as an aquarium of tropical fish and readers will love following the trail of colourful creatures through to the surprise ending.It all begins with one tiny pink fish who sets off a chain reaction of chaos beneath the waves until suddenly - SNAP! and I just talk it through as he tries it all out (usually resulting in a very heavily layered page of brown, but it’s all about the process! This is one of those brilliant books which is enjoyable on so many levels and therefore appealing to a wide range of readers and ages; for the very youngest readers there’s simple colour names and the fun of shouting “BOO! They could also try some observational drawings using documentaries or museums like the book’s creator!

After we’d finished with run out of the bicarb, I just put various pots, jugs and containers out with different coloured water in (just diluted food dye again) and he spent a good hour or more potion making (this was also great for language and imagination – the ingredients, descriptions and ideas he came up with were fab! A Fishy Mystery is a glorious underwater adventure from the creator of the award-winning One Fox: A Counting Book Thriller, featuring a host of sea creatures from an orange crab to a green turtle, a yellow eel and even a purple puffer fishIt all begins with one tiny pink fish who sets off a chain reaction of chaos beneath the waves until suddenly - SNAP!

On a slightly deeper level, there’s the questions the book asks about fake news, rumour mills and mass-hysteria; about the dangers of unquestioningly following the crowd. Older children could try making scenes of one colour, a shoal of different shades by adding white or black to a base colour or try making fishy collages as described at the back – experiment with layout and colour combinations by cutting fish out of coloured (or painted paper) – which colours look most striking or most subdued together etc.

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