Catfish, Cod, Salmon, and Scrod: What Is a Fish?

Written by Brian P. Cleary
Illustrated by Martin Goneau

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Wacky illustrations and fascinating facts make this a prime candidate for second grade readers. Part of the series, “Animal Groups Are CATegorcial,” this volume lends itself to further comprehension of both the words and of the animals portrayed. The author presents the basic facts. Fish live under water. They have backbones and breathe through gills. Fish are cold blooded and have fins and scales. However, the author is careful to note the many exceptions to the norm. Most fish lay eggs, but a few give birth to live offspring. Imagine a fish delivery room, complete with wheelchairs. Most fish remain in the water, but some walk on land or fly. With a parasail, we can fly with them. Fish can be almost any color – or a rainbow of colors. They live in oceans, streams, or lakes. They eat plants, bugs, or other fish. What would the reader order off the fish menu? They can be thumb-sized or the size or two trucks. Do you need a fish helmet to jump one that size? The cartoon-like fish characters are still accurate, for the most part, and make the learning fun.

In addition to the romping text in the book, the author’s own website ( provides fun ways to explore our world. The website includes quizzes, reading worksheets, and reading activity suggestions for further exploration. He also includes the name of a website ( where teaching guides and activities are highlighted. Other titles in this series discuss reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals.

  • Catfish CodTitle: Catfish, Cod, Salmon, and Scrod: What Is a Fish?
  • Author: Brian P. Cleary
  • Illustrator: Martin Goneau
  • Publisher: Millbrook Press/Lerner Publishing Group
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Paperback, 32 pages
  • ISBN: 978-1-4677-0337-6
  • Genre: Nature

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