From the monthly archives:

April 2012

An April Fools “Fish Story”

by Vicky on April 1, 2012

For this week’s story time, I decided to help the kids get ready for April Fools Day a few days early.  I told them that I was going to tell them a “fish story” and that the expression “fish story” is usually synonymous with “tall tale.”  As a matter of fact, the title of the featured book was Kumak’s Fish: A Tall Tale from the Far North, by Michael Bania.

But first we had to get in the mood by playing Inuit children’s games, which are quite challenging!  We started with the Owl Hop, in which you have to hook one leg behind the other knee and hop around on one leg. 

Then we tried the Kneel Jump, in which you have to jump up and forward from a kneeling position.  Finally, we tried the Seal Crawl, in which you have to lie flat on the floor with ankles crossed, then push up and crawl around using your arms!  After we had tried each game, I played an Inuit chant and led the kids in all three games.  They all played with gusto, and I was impressed with how well they all did.  Our seal crawl was especially realistic!

The story of Kumak’s Fish is much like The Enormous Turnip.  Eventually it takes a village to land the fish, which turns out to be a whole string of fish (mirroring the string of villagers at the other end of the epic tug of war!).  In our version, however, which is an even sillier tall tale, there is a HUGE fish at the end of the string of fish.  Stuart, the Big Fish, appeared to the bombastic strains of the Marseilleise, wearing a sash which read “Poisson d’Avril.”

This brought down the house.  Of course I had to explain the French custom of taping paper fish on the backs of unsuspecting people on April Fools Day.  The kids had lots of creative ideas for fun with paper poissons.