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Tale of a Great White Fish

A Sturgeon Story

Regular price $12.95 CAD

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  • ISBN: 9781553653035
  • Tags: Children's Books, Maggie de Vries, Nature & Environment, Picture Books, Renn+AOk Benoit, Renné Benoit,
  • Dimensions: 8 x 10.5
  • Published On: 3/29/2007
  • 48 Pages

Many times in her 177 years, Big Fish has come close to death. Stalked by panners in the gold rush, nearly crushed in 1913's rockslide, almost stranded when the lake drained into the river in 1924, and threatened by a mysterious disease in the 1990s, Big Fish has somehow survived. She's led sports fishers on a merry chase, managing to escape their hooks—so far. Maggie de Vries's poetic text and Rennee Benoit's gorgeous watercolors capture all the danger and fascination of Big Fish's underwater world.

Maggie de Vries is the author of several children's books, including Hunger Journeys, Chance and the Butterfly, and Tale of a Great White Fish, a Silver Birch Honour Book and winner of the Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize. Her adult non-fiction title Missing Sarah was shortlisted for a Governor General's Award and won the inaugural George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in B.C. Literature. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Renne Benoit is an award-winning artist who has illustrated many books for children, including Fraser Bear, Boy in Motion, Jason's Journey, and Goodbye to Griffith Street, which won the Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize. She lives in southern Ontario with her husband and her two dogs.


"A fascinating tale about survival amid both natural and man-made dangers, Big Fish concludes with a handful of scientific facts about sturgeon. A brief letter by Rick Hansen . . . rounds out this engaging fishy adventure spanning nearly two centuries." -Midwest Book Review

"Teacher, editor, and award-winning writer Maggie de Vries's latest book wonderfully recreates the impressive tenacity of this species. Her writing is clean and straightforward, and she presents her information in a timeline format that is most effective. For every important event in Big Fish's life, the text is prefaced with the date and her age, weight, and length. This clearly indicates the dramatic physical proportions of the sturgeon, as well as how she survives the passing decades with her stoic instincts intact. We are both reading a work of non-fiction and indulging in the life story of a quiet heroine . . . Renne Benoit . . . provides lovely earth-toned paintings in keeping with the murky environment of the sturgeon. Big Fish glides from page to page, visually anchoring readers in her world." -Quill & Quire

"Thoroughly researched text and full-page lively watercolour illustrations trace Fish's journey. The straightforward writing style will be accessible to newly independent readers, but it is equally appealing to adults . . . This highly attractive book, with its fascinating story of one rare creature's survival, will make a valuable contribution to the growing collection of children's literature about conservation issues." -CM: Canadian Review of Materials