Breathtaking oil paintings bursting with energy pull
readers along into Big Lake, the home of Jangles, the
biggest fish anyone has seen. Fishing alone at dusk,
a boy feels a tug on his line and comes face-to-face
with the gigantic trout--whose enormous jaw is covered
with so many lures and fish hooks that he jingles and
jangles when he swims. Terrified by the sight, the boy is
shocked when Jangles befriends him and takes him on an
adventure to the bottom of the lake. A surprise ending
will leave readers laughing and shaking their heads. Here
is Shannon at his very best-in a wild and witty story that
begs repeated reading.
The heroes of most picture books are furry and adorable. Not Shannon's (Too Many Toys!) trout Jangles, who lunges out of a spread with his gold eye gleaming, fins tense, underslung jaw studded with dozens and dozens of fishing lures and hooks: "They clinked and clattered as he swam. That's why he was called Jangles." The unnamed narrator's father shares a story his father told him, a highly embellished tale about his father's boyhood, when Jangles was the fish everyone wanted to catch. The trout's wily ways were the stuff of myth: "e ate eagles from the trees that hung out over the lake and full-grown beavers that strayed too far from home" (a spray of feathers and a glimpse of trout tail can be seen in midair as an astonished beaver looks on). The boy in the story catches Jangles he claims but few will foresee what happens next, in a series of events that owe both to folklore and suburban legend. Picture-book art doesn't get much more rousing than this; for anglers in particular and adventure lovers in general, it's a slam-dunk. Ages 4 up.