A Fish Named Glub

Dan Bar-el
Josée Bisaillon

In this truly original picture book, a fish named Glub ponders the big questions (“Who am I?” “What do I need?” “Where do I belong?”) as he looks out from his fishbowl at the end of the counter at Foster G. Willikers's diner. For every one of his questions, Glub instantly receives an answer via the variety of conversations he overhears, as the colorful people who frequent the diner go about the business of their lives. At the same time, all these people, including Foster, are finding some answers of their own as they look back at Glub swimming around in his bowl.

Rich yet accessible collage-style illustrations by Josée Bisaillon warmly invite readers into Glub's world on each of the spreads of this unique book, while the text alternates between the poetry-inspired thoughts of Glub and the lively dialogue of the humans. What award-winning children's author and storyteller Dan Bar-el manages to do in this moving and optimistic book is to present two different layers within one story. There is the delightful, simple narrative about what happens to Glub and the people in the diner --- a fun, humorous read-aloud, perfect for storytime. But there is also a more reflective and poignant tale here of love, self-discovery and hope, which provide an opportunity for deeper reading, understanding and critical thinking, and which would make an excellent resource for a character education lesson on dealing with feelings.

978-1-55453-812-6 | Apr 1, 2014
List Price: USD $16.95, CAD $16.95
4-color 9 x 9 32 pages
Grades: Pre-K To 3 / Ages: 4 to 8
978-1-77138-177-2 | Mar 17, 2014
List Price: USD $5.99, CAD $5.99

Educational Resources

Adult Directed

Awards & Reviews

“While young readers may not be concerned with adult hopes and despairs, Bar-el's lyrical prose and Glub's underdog (underfish?) triumph offer entertainment for those who aren't actively wondering what they're meant to be doing with their lives.”
— Publishers Weekly, February 2014
“A story that is as delightful in its individual parts as it is in its sweeping theme of dreams rediscovered and the small push of self-belief needed to follow them.”
— Kirkus Reviews, February 2014
“Bisaillon creates gorgeous mixed-media tapestries upon which Bar-el's words dance. Her quirky and humorous images do a great job keeping the tone light and providing movement ... This is a story that reinforces the comforting notion that you don't have to be big to make a difference.”
— Quill & Quire, April 2014
“... this story will appeal to older children who grasp the power of dreams, hopes, and memories, while younger children will enjoy the antics of Glub and the people he meets during his time at the diner.”
— School Library Journal, April 2014
“Artfully told, the story's melancholy edge is melted by the connections made between characters. The collage-style art charms with its childlike appeal that helps put the book right at the reader's level. This is a book to return to, with nuance adding to each reading.”
— Booklist, April 2014
“Glub poses his existential questions and various visitors to the diner provide answers. Bit by bit, Glub's existence grows more enriched ... Glub discovers a very unusual talent. It's a gift that brings happiness to others, but leaves Glub still feeling alone --- until one day, Foster, Evelyn and her mom test the waters together.”
— The Montreal Gazette, May 2014
“With insight and sensitivity, Dan Bar-el writes of the importance of finding one's place in the world and the quest to follow one's aspirations. Through his perceptive prose, one begins to empathize with the patrons ... Josée Bisaillon's mixed-media illustrations are quirky, fun and interesting.”
— Canadian Children's Book News, April 2014

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