Monday, July 10, 2017

Turf Battle in the Fish Tank: Prince and Pirate by Charlotte Gannufson

Two fishbowls reside, side by side, in pescatory peace, each with a scaly resident who is master of all he surveys.

Prince ruled a scaly kingdom. He admired his majestic castle and his carriage.

Pirate ruled his small, round sea. He sailed his schooner and guarded his treasure.

Prince enjoyed his divine right to rule. Pirate protected his trove as a privileged privateer.

And then it appears that the powers that be have decided to ditch the dual domains. Pirate and Prince find themselves summarily netted, dumped with a plop, and suddenly swimming in a new watery realm--a large aquarium that should have provided ample provinces for both fish.

But--NO! Apparently there is not enough room for both of them in this tank!

A fishy feud ensues.

"Halt, Peasant! You trespass!" roared Prince.

"Avast, Ye scurvy Sea Slug!" Pirate retorts.

The two fish push pebbles to make a border down the center of their space. It's THE WALL! They dare each other to put so much as a fin over the fence.

"You miserable mollusk!" shouts Prince scornfully.

"Barnacled Bloomers!" bellows Pirate bellicosely.

It's a showdown at the Okay Aquarium.

But... Wait! What this? Another scaly resident is dropped into the tank. It's a frightened little dogfish, who peers fearfully out of his little kennel, frightened by his pugnacious neighbors. His little tail fins are all a-tremble.

Awwwww! Poor little finny fellow! Pirate and Prince are suddenly protective of their new little co-resident and promptly put their pebbles to work to play fetch with their new pet.

It's time for an underwater truce, in Charlotte Gannufson's finny and funny newest, Prince and Pirate (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2017).  Gannufson's proffers the snappy dialogue between Prince, that paragon of the King's English, and Pirate, the boisterous buccaneer, making for some read-aloud fun, while the noted comic artist Mike Lowery provides the comic contrast between the rivals. All's quiet on the aquarium front as Gannufson gives her fishy foes a common cause to be kind. As Booklist puts it, "At first glance, this is pure silliness, but a tidy lesson about sharing will rise to the surface."

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