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Dear Fish    by Chris Gall order for
Dear Fish
by Chris Gall
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In Chris Gall's Dear Fish, Peter Alan's bright imagination, fired from a visit to the seaside, brings the entire ocean onto land and into the lives of everyone around him. Bright, bold illustrations bring the story to vibrant marine life.

It starts at the beach where Peter Alan spends his day 'leaping over tide pools, peeking under rocks, and wondering what kinds of curious creatures might live beneath the swirling water.' He writes a Dear Fish message, inviting them to visit, pushes it into a bottle and sends it out to sea. Back home the next morning, the replies start to swim in.

They fill Peter Alan's bathtub, his neighbor's lawn, float through his friend Sally's house and in the sky outside, disrupt the game at the ballpark, give a rodeo rider the toss of his life, and cause all kinds of trouble for his mom, his dad and his teacher. 'This was more of a visit than Peter Alan had expected.' So he writes another note.

The fish head home, the smells begin to fade, and the boy promises never to attempt communication with his goldfish. Then the family returns to the beach, where Peter Alan finds a note in a shell - this time for him.

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