Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Finn McCool and the Great Fish

Definitely a different take than many of the works I've read by Eve Bunting, but definitely worth sharing!

Bunting, Eve.
Finn McCool and the Great Fish.
December 2009.
Sleeping Bear Press.
Review copy provided courtesy of publisher.

Bunting tells the tale of Finn McCool, a gentle giant who lacks wisdom in this unique tale set in Ireland. While Finn is a strong and kind giant, he does not possess much wisdom. In hearing these comments about himself one day, he sets off in search of gaining wisdom. After visiting a wise old man, Finn heads to a nearby river in search of a magical red salmon that will supposedly help him to gain the wisdom he seeks. Upon arriving, Finn discovers that his kindness leaves him incapable of taking the life of the fish. However, Finn doesn't leave without his sought-after wisdom... instead, he finds a way to gain wisdom without taking the life of the magical red salmon.

This is a wonderful book to share on St. Patrick's Day! While it doesn't specifically make mention of St. Patrick's Day or any of the traditional St. Patrick's Day symbols and traditions, the illustrations provide great sight into the Irish landscape, allowing readers to gain a deeper understanding of the Irish heritage.

Learning/Reading Activity:
  • Sleeping Bear Press has also prepared for educators, a Teaching Guide for Finn McCool and the Great Fish. It consists of 16 pages of activities to use in collaboration with the book. My personal favorite was page 10, in which children are asked to write a letter to a friend at home (while visiting Finn McCool in Ireland) describing their adventure with the gentle giant.
  • Listen to Eve Bunting introduce and even read part of Finn McCool and the Great Fish here!

If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to I am an Amazon Affiliate, so any purchases you make after clicking these images will result in my receiving a small percentage of the sale price!