Friday, March 6, 2009

Plenty of Fish

Plenty of Fish
Millicent Selsam ~ Erik Blegvad ~ Harper & Row, 1960

This was a book my son had little interest in even though I thought the illustrations were very Wes Anderson and super cool. So I put it in the shop, only to have him become obsessed with it during the few days it was for sale. I think the scientific light switch went off in his brain and he was all of a sudden fascinated by how a fish breathes. Who knew? So, his copy eventually went off to a new home in California, and I hit the street in search of a new one. Witness the fruits of my labor here...

I am totally psyched that the boy is getting into this sort of stuff, because these Science I CAN READ Books are exactly the sort that keep us parents-as-readers awake. Shoot, I'm totally interesting is reading about how a fish breathes.

Sooo, there's this little boy, Willy, and he asks his father for a fish. He quickly learns what a fish needs, how to take care of it, then the fish gets a friend and soon the wondering begins...

Willy liked to look at his fish. He liked to see them open and close their mouths. "Why do they do that?" asked Willy. "My fish open and close their mouths all the time." "They are breathing," said his father. "Breathing?" said Willy. "Like this?" and Willy opened and closed his mouth. He sat there and opened and closed his mouth until he got tired.

And so, Willy sets out on a scientific investigation to figure out how fish breathe underwater. Very very cool, and his self experiments make me even more psyched for the future... Showing my son how things work and letting him show me a thing or two about the world. Seriously, now I am heading out to find as many of these little science books as I can.

Also by:
Mud Pies and Other Recipes
A Year is a Window
The Last of the Wizards
The Diamond in the Window
Benny's Animals
How To Be A Nature Detective
Seeds and More Seeds


  1. Lovely! Our book fair, my main source of books, was not held this year, so I am feeling the loss of books-that-might-have-been-ours even more now!

  2. Oh, interesting... my daughter's not yet at the age for this one but it's never too early to start keeping an eye out.

  3. i loved this book when i was little. i found it at a thrift store and forced my mom to buy it. And to think that that was only a few years ago. i'm now fourteen, and still love it, but too bad i can't find it.

  4. This is a beautiful post. We love Millicent Selsam's science titles for children. In fact, when I learned that the CPSIA banned the pre-1985 books, Selsam's titles came immediately to mind.

  5. I've never heard of Science I Can Read books, although I have a slew of other I Can Read titles. I'll have to look for them at my library, which doesn't yet have book sequestered under a big orange tarp.

  6. So fun... I have a few more I'll post on soon too.

  7. Thank you for this post which put me on to Millicent Selsam's science titles for children. I borrowed My First Look at Seashells from our local library and my 6 yr. old is enjoying reading it very much. I plan to keep my eye out for the other titles.