Mar 27, 2012

Down by Jim Long's Stage

Down by Jim Long's Stage (CAN, US, INT)

Written by: Al Pittman

Illustrated by: Pam Hall

Published by: Breakwater Books

Published: 1976 (Reissued 2001)

I won this children's verse book in a monthly draw for the 5th Canadian Book Challenge. What a pleasure! Some of these delightful verses have made their way into my craw and haven't come out. For example:

A lobster named Larry
so wanted to marry
Lila the lobster next door.

That when he proposed 
and she turned up her nose, 
he wept all over the floor.

This is Labroador's answer to Mother Goose and it's basically a short fun book that looks at the creatures of the undersea world in a way you probably haven't ever before! Cross-dressing cod and wobbly lumpfish made my kids laugh and laugh.

Pam Hall originally won the Canadian Library Association's Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award for Best Canadian Illustration. Her illustrations do give life and personality to all sorts of creatures including a feuding squid couple and even a human in a dreamscape.

The late author Al Pittman is a playwright and writer from Newfoundland and I will definitely be searching out more from him.

This is the 33rd book I have read for the 5th Canadian Book Challenge.


  1. Being a Newfoundlander, I grew up with this book and still enjoy it, but I prefer Pittman's "On a Wing and a Wish" about seabirds. The fish one started it all though and tends to get more publicity.

  2. Thanks for telling me about the bird one, I've ordered that. I wonder if this is a regional difference between Newfoundland and Alberta or just me who never heard of this growing up?


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