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spacerStory Home: Picture Book Reviews: Higgins Bend Song and Dance
Higgins Illustration
Higgins Bend
Song and Dance

Written by Jacqueline B. Martin
Illustrated by Brad Sneed

Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1997
4+ years

Simon Henry is determined to catch a crafty, bait-grasping catfish that's been challenging his prowess as a fisherman. But Old Forktail swims away with Simon Henry's fat redworms, his doughballs, and, worst of all, his best five-day-old secret-recipe stinkbait. So Simon redoubles his efforts and makes a series of bets about a successful catch with Potato Kelly, proprietor of a local food, tackle, and bait store. Will Simon catch his nemesis? Maybe not, but he will certainly discover that he's made a friend and partner in his love for fishing.
spacer Brad Sneed's watercolors capture the energy and humor in Simon's increasingly desperate attempts to catch the big fish. His style, with its curving, humorous characters is reminiscent of the work of the great midwest muralist Thomas Hart Benton. Brad uses different angles on the action to capture the drama of Jacqueline Martin's hilarious story. I found the illustration where the reader is looking up from the bottom of the river to a close-up of the catfish swimming just below Simon Henry's raft to be particularly compelling.

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