Meet Sam at the Mangrove Creek by Paul Seden and Brenton McKenna
Aussie Kids. Puffin Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781760894122.
(Age: 6+) Highly recommended. One of a series of eight books called Aussie Kids designed for newly emerging readers this lovely story set in the Northern Territory takes the children to a mangrove creek with a new throw net to fish.
A postcard introduces the main character, Sam, and we follow him getting out of bed excited for the weekend that has finally come around. He and his friend Peter, along with the dog Bazza, are to go down to the creek to fish. Sam is hopeful that they will catch a barramundi. He packs a water bottle and pack of chips, grabs his bike and cycles off to collect Peter. Together they ride to the creek, mindful of Sam's father's advice to throw the net in the creek's mouth. But Peter has brought banana lollies. Sam is disgusted as you never take anything banana on a fishing trip. The boys throw the net but wherever they throw it, no fish are caught. Sam is convinced that the banana lollies have brought bad luck. An older man who they saw at the shelter by the creek comes along to them and suggests a better way of using the net. They take his advice and are amazed at the two large fish they catch. Walking back to their bikes they thank the old man but notice that his bedding is in the shelter, so offer him the fish.
This charming story not only tells a good tale of two boys catching fish it models life skills such as sharing information, being kind to the elderly and sharing what you catch.
For early emerging readers this short story will enhance their ability, as it is told in six short chapters enlivened with illustrations on most pages, along with the introductory postcard and two pages of information at the end of the story, while a map of Australia shows the readers which state the story is set in.
Theme: Sharing, Northern Territory, Fishing.