CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 37. . . .May 28, 2010.
Lobster Fishing on the Sea.
Maureen Hull. Illustrated by Brenda Jones.
Halifax, NS: Nimbus, 2010.
32 pp., stapled, $8.95.
Preschool-grade 4 / Ages 4-9.
Review by Katarin MacLeod.
“There are hundreds of different kinds of crabs,” said her dad. “The pea crab is as small as a pea. The Japanese spider crab is as big as a rowboat!”
“These are just ordinary crabs,” said Susan. “They aren’t really made of rocks.”
“No,” said her dad, “but they like to hind in the rocks on the sea bottom.”
Susan put the rock crabs in the crab tank.
Lobster Fishing on the Sea is a fictional text that describes a Saturday adventure for Susan, the daughter of a lobster fisherman. On one particular Saturday morning in June, Susan is awakened by her father so that she can get ready to accompany him on his daily lobster fishing expedition. The text describes the preparations before going out on the water, including the clothes that each wore, where the lines on the boat were coiled and the wearing of life jackets. The adventure begins; they sail to the fishing grounds, find their buoys and begin to check the trawls (a string of traps). Susan asks questions about the other animals they encounter, for example, “Why are there so many seagulls out here?” After emptying the traps, they were refilled with bait by her dad and set again.
While out on the ocean, Susan finds many other creatures in the lobster traps, including rock crabs, purple starfish, sculpin, hermit crabs, rock eels, and a lumpfish. Susan and her father discuss each of the creatures, their characteristics, and then Susan places the animals back into the ocean, except for the rock crabs which they place in the crab tank.
They stop work when it is lunch time and enjoy a picnic style lunch on the ocean. When the day is done and all the trawls have been checked, baited, and put back, Susan and her father return to the wharf. Her father sells his catch to the fish buyer but keeps a few lobsters. At home, they make lobster chowder for supper, talk about their day and, although Susan is disappointed that they did not find a blue lobster, she comments that “you never know what you might find at the bottom of the sea.”
Lobster Fishing on the Sea is a wonderfully descriptive story book for young children. It gives the reader an idea of what lobster fishing is all about as well as describing some of the typical ocean creatures that lobster fishers encounter on a daily basis.
The illustrations in the book accompany the text beautifully, and the scenery is typical of what is along the Northumberland Strait. It is clearly a text from the Maritimes and celebrates one of our greatest assets – our fisheries. As a Maritimer, it was a pleasure to read and share this book with my seven-year-old daughter. This text is suitable for young readers who have an interest in marine life and/or lobster fishing.
Katarin MacLeod is an Assistant Professor in Science Education at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, NS. Her areas of interest include physics educational research (PER), and the incorporation of science, technology, society and environment (STSE) outcomes into science courses at all levels to help students understand the relevancy of science, increase scientific literacy, and to promote citizenship.
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