Jake and Ava: A Boy and a Fish

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Pub Date 02 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 21 Nov 2021
BooksGoSocial, The Gryphon Press

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Description

From New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Balcombe comes this charming and affecting tale of young Jake, who on his first fishing trip with his grandfather, makes a crucial discovery when he meets Ava, an archerfish, caught on his line.

"This tender tale will evoke empathy in young readers. And, the art is exquisite.”

—Joyce Sidman, winner of the NCTE Award for excellence in Poetry for Children, Winner of the Sibert Medal, author of The Girl who Drew Butterflies and many other titles.

“Jake and Ava: A Boy and a Fish is a gorgeous book with a beautiful message: that all creatures love their lives just like we love ours. “

—Sy Montgomery, author of Becoming a Good Creature.

“Jonathan Balcombe’s book will help children see fishes in the way they should be seen—as animals who deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. Jake and Ava is a meaningful and enjoyable story experience.”

—Aysha Akhtar, MD, MPH, author of Our Symphony With Animals. On Health, Empathy and Our Shared Destinies.

"Archerfishes like Ava are amazing beings. They are not only very bright but also have rich and deep emotional lives like the companion animals with whom we’re more familiar. In Jake and Ava, author Jonathan Balcombe tells a story of much needed empathy and kindness from a boy to a fish that deserves a broad global audience.”

—Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., author of Animals at Play and Jasper's story: Saving Moon Bears

From New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Balcombe comes this charming and affecting tale of young Jake, who on his first fishing trip with his grandfather, makes a crucial discovery when he...


Advance Praise

"""“A sensitive topic swum with mindful strokes. Balcombe’s insightful juxtaposition of two youthful experiences wades through an emotional journey of learning and compassion. Evans’ richly hued watercolors evoke fluid movement and a vibrant natural landscape filled with wildlife. Illustrations and story harmonize well, highlighting vulnerability and the importance of compassion. . .”  

—Kirkus Reviews: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/jonathan-balcombe/jake-and-ava/"

"""“A sensitive topic swum with mindful strokes. Balcombe’s insightful juxtaposition of two youthful experiences wades through an emotional journey of learning and compassion. Evans’ richly hued...


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9780940719460
PRICE $17.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

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Average rating from 9 members


Featured Reviews

Educational and somehow emotionally educational as well. A little boy learns how to fish with his grandfather but something happens after they catch a fish. How the story ended is so satisfying. You just have to read this with the kids. The art is amazing! Thank you, author/artist, for the advance reading copy.

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I had thought this would be another grandpa fishing story, but it turned out to be a whole other kettle of fish, and being a lifelong vegetarian myself, I fully approved! It's a great book to be reviewing as the COP26 goes on right now. I admired the stance taken here, because it's a very hard sell in the USA where everyone grows up feeling they have the innate right to rape and pillage nature and the hell with the consequences, and very few people ever truly question it - not really question it. But the fact is that life doesn't work the way most Americans like to comfortably think it does. The world isn't our oyster. Nature isn't here for us, and it isn't endlessly resilient. Now this self-centered 'I own it' attitude is coming back around to bite us, and we're starting to learn some hard lessons. Fortunately Jake learns an easy lesson when he goes on the traditional fishing trip with grandpa. I never did go an any trips with any grandpas, but I would definitely have been Jake had I done so! They find a nice creek to set a lure and sit there waiting for a bite. This is how we mimic the manly man 'conquering' nature. Sad, isn't it? Meanwhile we get the underwater story too, as an uncle and his niece - archer fish - go out hunting themselves, and Ava is the fish who mistakenly bites on Jake's lure. Jake chooses compassion for the fish and lets her go. He will never know it was Ava, and she will never know it was Jake, but that was decidedly a magical moment! I fully commend this book as both a worthy read and an unexpected and unusual bonus. And I wish it all the success in the world.

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What an interesting book! It, certainly, adds an interesting perspective to going on a first fishing trip with your grandpa. I found the plot fascinating, expecting a heartwarming story of the strong bond between a grandfather and grandson, which the author beautifully conveyed. Yet, the idea that the fish experience pain and discomfort is sure to provide discussion. The explanation at the book's conclusion provides a different perspective and is bound to be quite thought provoking. Well done!

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Jake and Ava : A Boy and a Fish is an interesting story and not at all what I was expecting. I was pleasantly surprised with the subject matter and myself and my 5 year old son enjoyed it and continued to discuss it long after we finished reading. Thank you to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for my ARC.

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What a lovely way to teach children that fish are precious, and have feelings too. Maybe not as we do, but nevertheless they understand what it is like to be separated from family. I really loved the story, and the illustrations went perfectly with each scene. Thank you so much for giving me a chance to read this beautiful book.

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4 Stars Jake goes on his first fishing adventure with his grandpa. He learns how to fish, while Ava, the archerfish, is learning how to hunt from her uncle. What happens when Jake catches Ava in his first-ever fishing adventure? The story is about empathy towards the marine life and how fishes also feel pain when caught. Jake is a sweet little boy who is worried about worms being hurt when used as bait and then happily lets go of the little fish he caught. There’s full-page information at the end of the book about recreational fishing and its ill effects on marine life. The illustrations are in watercolors with tiny text to take the story forward. While the setting and the feel were real-like, something felt lacking in the overall narrative. I can’t put my finger on it, sorry. Yet, the book is a good way to teach kids about treating insects and animals with love. I received an ARC from NetGalley and BooksGoSocial and am voluntarily leaving a review.

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