Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Foodies Unite! Samson, the Piranha Who Went to Dinner by Tadgh Bentley

Samson is a different sort of fish. He doesn't follow the leader and swim with the old school.

While the other piranhas stick to the same old routine, Samson likes to try new things. Even when it comes to their daily grub, the other piranhas form a feeding frenzy without savoring a single bite. But Samson swims to a different drummer.

Most of all, Samson dreams of eating fine food in the finest restaurants--lily linguine and crisp kelp cakes.

So one day Samson decks himself out in a debonair fedora, and with his dispatch case of cutlery jauntily over his shoulder, heads off to one the finest restaurants in town. With a big smile, he even invites some patrons to dine with him. Yikes!


A restaurant is no place for a ..


Samson clears the place in a trice when the other fish fear that they are about to be the catch of the day!

Undeterred and disguised in a set of Groucho glasses with bushy brows and mustache, Samson ventures out to the Cafe Pierre, determined to remain incognito. But he can't help smiling at the friendly waiter who comes to his table....


Still those kelp cakes beckon, so this time Samson tries a curly wig and a big floppy hat and books a reservation under what he hopes is a clandestine name, Samson P. Rana.

But when the obsequious waiter tries to take his hat and coat, Samson's cover is blown, and the fearful fish flee the dining room, leaving their dinners behind.


It seems Samson can't catch a break, much less a shrimp scampi, until he gets a new idea. Perhaps he and some of his fellow predatory fish foodies can open their own private restaurant. With a chef who knows his way around a toothsome crab souffle and a nicely seasoned Coquille St. Jacques, Samson and his buddies, sharks, barracudas, and the like can at last dine in style. On opening day the food is fabulous, and business is great--suspiciously so.... Samson takes a closer look at the clientele.

Hey,... wait! Isn't that a sea turtle wearing a fake shark fin strapped around his shell and chomping a kelp croquette?

In his Samson: The Piranha Who Went to Dinner (Balzer and Bray, 2017) Tadgh Bentley pokes some fun at foodies and their tendency to flock to the latest hotspot eateries. Bentley's cartoon-style under-the-sea illustrations make the most of spoofing his dining denizens of the sea, The illustrator's disguises for poor Samson will definitely look "fishy" to young readers, while the discovery of Samson's impressive dental equipment underneath will have sharp young readers piping up with "PIRANHA!" at all the right points in this tasty fish tale. As Kirkus Reviews quips, "Young readers will be hooked."

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