CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 6 . . . . November 10, 2006
Ten-year-old Eddie and his granddad cannot get enough when it comes to fishing! Granddad tells the stories, and Eddie baits the hooks with octopus. They catch rock cod and silver salmon. But what they would love to catch is the big snapper. In the beginning, Eddie sees this equation in his head - catching the big snapper would equal new glasses for grandma, a new vacuum for mom, and a new bike for himself. However, later on, the big snapper takes on a new importance for Eddie.
Granddad’s been telling Eddie several tall tales. One involves a unique Sasquatch-ish character, and another involves something just as big - a whale. This whale had a talent for creating huge impressions! But Granddad never tires of telling big snapper stories. Unfortunately, both the big snapper and the fishing boat have physical reminders of the times they’ve met. But, behind each dent in the boat and nick in the fish is a story. The taller granddad’s tales, the more humorous, silly and interesting they get! They keep Eddie’s attention, as they will young readers. After all the stories Granddad has told about the one that got away, Granddad is finally told a tale about the one that got away. Although the stories and circumstances are very different, they are similar in one important way. They are both told through love.
People come and go in Eddie’s life on the Queen Charlotte Islands, but these transitions bring adaptation and understanding to the characters. Eddie is not the only one who summons up strength and courage in this story.
Storytelling is a way to hold on, and to let go. We remember the stories we are told, and we share the stories we hear. In The Big Snapper, storytelling bonds and heals the family. It’s no exaggeration to say the author, a CLA Young Adult Canadian Book Award winner, has a talent for telling stories.
Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.