New Kids’ Books Feature Catfish
By Keith Sutton
Valuable lessons for young children are at the heart of two colorful new books.
Two recently released children’s books are sure to be loved by all youngsters, but especially by those who enjoy fishing.
“Whiskers’ Wonder-Filled Day at Nana’s Pond” features Whiskers, a young catfish, and the animals he encounters during his day at Nana’s Pond. He wonders why he doesn’t have a shell, antlers, tall ears, fast feet and a bushy tail. But in the end, he finds satisfaction with who he is and his unique attributes.
Written by Amy Burgess and illustrated by Sheila Jeffries, both of Arkansas, this is a great read-aloud book for children from pre-kindergarten through second grade.
“This book was inspired by my family’s love of nature and outdoor activities,” said Burgess. “Fish feeding time became one of my Grandma’s favorite things for her and my Mom to do. She would smile and laugh at how the fish would start swimming and swarming the bank before they could even make it there with the bucket of food!
“My parents, Leta Jane and Gary Lee, have continued maintaining the pond, and the fish still greet them for their daily visit,” Burgess continued. “The fish and Nana’s pond are not only a representation of great country life in Delaplaine, Arkansas but also a continued tradition that connects my family’s past and present. The pond waters bring peace in a world sometimes filled with chaos. It will always be home, close to my heart and one of my favorite places to be.”
“Whiskers’ Wonder-filled Day at Nana’s Pond” can be purchased at www.archildrensbookpublishing.com. Each book is numbered and signed by the author and illustrator.
Also just released is “Mr. Flathead: The Greatest Catfish Ever Known!” The title character (“the toughest and biggest catfish swimming around”) is upset with all the folks who are polluting the rivers and streams and throwing their trash along the banks. So, he decides to break their poles and steal their bait to teach them a lesson.
Marty Henry of Central City, Nebraska wrote the story and created Mr. Flathead using Canva, an online graphic-design tool.
“I always took my kids fishing when they were knee-high to a grasshopper,” he said. “On one of those trips, we drove down to the river to set up our poles, and I noticed a lot of trash left behind by other fishermen. This really upset me. I told my kids I hoped a big flathead would break their poles and bust their lines to teach them a lesson. They thought that was funny.
“Many years have passed, and now I’m a grandpa,” he continued. “I’ve always wanted to write a story book on this subject and now I have. I’m not a professional. I just wanted to plant a good seed in all fishermen and fisherwomen to show respect for our rivers and streams.”
This is an excellent book for the youngest anglers. “My three- and four-year-old grandkids loved the rhythm, rhyme and illustrations,” one reader said. “This grandmother loved the opportunity to have fun reading in the sing-song rhythm it takes on, while opening up great conversations about fishing and why we clean up after ourselves. The kiddos received new fishing poles this spring, so the timing is perfect to teach little ones big lessons!”
Copies of “Mr. Flathead” can be purchased on Amazon.