4 out of 4 stars
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How to Catch a Keeper! by Stephanie Mulligan is an adorable picture book based around catching lobsters in Maine.
Luke and Layla are enjoying a trip to the Maine Coast. Their dad takes them on the Lucky Catch Tour with Captain Tom. Captain Tom tells them all about catching lobster and which ones get sent back. He shows them what a female with eggs looks like and lets her go. The kids help him bait the traps. They look for the buoys that mark where his traps are waiting. They see seals, cormorants, and seagulls. If they find a keeper, what will they do? Read to find out!
The illustrations are beautifully done. Everything looks realistic and is perfectly colored. The picture of the happy seal sunbathing on the rocks was my favorite. The book is written in rhyme but it doesn’t always flow. It’s a mix of thirteen and fourteen syllable phrases. The end of the first set rhymes with the end of the second. However, each set is broken into two parts, not always evenly. If you look back, you can clearly see what words rhyme, but when trying to read the book out loud, you might get a little caught up. Still, it is one of the better rhyming books I’ve seen lately.
The story is simple enough for children to understand. It shares a lot of good information about the Maine Coast. It’s clear to see that the author really loves it there. At the end of the book, there is a “Lobstering Lingo” section. It explains some of the things the book glossed over. For example, I know what a seal is, and what a seagull is, but I was a little hazy as to what a cormorant is. It is “a large, black bird found along the coast of Maine. The double-crested cormorant can be seen hanging out on the rocks and ledges of Casco Bay, where it dries out its wings.” I found this incredibly helpful!
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. Although I complained a little about the rhyming, this book is still one I would be happy to share with my nieces. The beauty and passion behind this book make up for the flaws. I would recommend it to adults to read to and with children. I would also recommend it to anyone considering a trip to Maine. It is a quick and charming read that’ll pique your interest.
How to Catch a Keeper!
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