Koi Fish and Salmon’s Adventure!
by Jeremiah Wang

"Remembering the dangers from the past, Koi fish warns Salmon fish to beware the daring dwarves, boisterous bears and the opportunistic otters."

Children of all ages will appreciate the union of wordplay and fanciful illustrations in this picture book featuring a pair of adventurous fish who live “deep in the enchanted valley... in the crystal clear water” where “they bubble happily together” and “dart around chasing sunbeams.” When their age-old instinct to migrate leads them upstream toward a new play area, Koi and Salmon encounter many dangers hidden in pools and bends of the river, including predatory otters, hungry fisherman casting nets, and a rocky waterfall monitored by bears.

Author and illustrator Wang was just eight years old when he wrote this story, and his skill as a young writer is commendable, as is his ability to communicate with both young and mature readers. The vocabulary is far above the usual range for a picture book, and so this is a read-to experience rather than a self-read for the youngest set. Koi Fish and Salmon are immediately engaging as characters, and readers will continue to bond with the pair as they confidently face ever-increasing challenges upon their fast-paced, multi-faceted, and riveting adventure. The text over-explains what Wang’s illustrations capture so well wordlessly, but the reading of the alliterative and lyrical prose will challenge youngsters’ literacy skills and enlarge their vocabularies. The unusual friendship between a koi and a salmon is never explained. Still, it lends an air of charm and mystery that enhances the picture book magic, encouraging children and adults alike to engage in playful and supportive friendships as they navigate their own streams of life.

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