Fish Finelli: Seagulls Don’t Eat Pickles

Summer is fun (and funny!) with Fish Finelli!Fish Finnelli Seagulls Don't Eat PicklesI am thrilled to be a part of the official blog tour for the new children’s chapter book Fish Finelli: Seagulls Don’t Eat Pickles by E.S. Farber.

“When bully Bryce Billings bets Fish Finelli that he can’t find Captain Kidd’s legendary long-lost treasure, Fish and his friends embark on a quest to find real-life pirate treasure. Between sneaking into the library to track down Captain Kidd’s map, stowing away on a boat, and trespassing on an island, Fish and his friends have their work cut out for them. But will Fish actually be able to find Captain Kidd’s booty and win the bet? Appropriate for both boys and girls, this first book in the Fish Finelli series will inspire readers to use their imaginations, learn about the world around them, and appreciate the bonds of friendship.”

This book is full of laughs, mystery, and excitement. Readers ages 8-11 (especially boys) will love this book!

Click here to view an excerpt of the first chapter.

Teacher and librarians love Fish Finelli too! Click here for a PDF discussion guide, provided by the publisher, Chronicle Books.

I was fortunate enough to get an interview with the author of the Fish Finelli series, E.S. Farber. Here’s what she had to say:

What inspired you to start writing children’s books?

I grew up reading and loving lots of children’s books, Harriet the Spy being a particular favorite, and the inspiration for the first notebooks I started keeping. But it was a book called The Silver Pencil, about a girl whose father gives her a silver pencil to write her stories, which really made me determined to become a writer. Oh, and Jo from Little Women, too.

Years later, during one of my first interviews for a job in publishing when asked what my favorite books of all time were, I found myself saying Pride and Prejudice and Peter Pan. That was the moment I realized that children’s books were where my heart lay… I got the job, read all of the children’s books in my boss’s library, and decided, after doing lots of editorial assistant work (including helping to bring Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys into the Eighties), that writing was what I really wanted to do. So, I moved to a book packaging company where I created, wrote, edited everything from middle-grade girl fiction to kids’ sports mysteries to graphic novels to picture books,  kids’ biographies, readers.

Where did the idea for Fish Finelli come from?

The idea for Fish Finelli came from returning to a place where I had grown up many summers and seeing it through the eyes of my young son.

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At the time he was passionate about Popular Mechanics videos, asking questions about Nikola Tesla and electric circuits, about gravity and pyrotechnics. He wanted to take things apart like radios and cell phones to see how they worked…strung up pulleys and hoisted things that often crashed…Walked around with a real kid-size tool belt with real tools, helping to sand wood, hammer in nails. Wanted to tell anyone who would listen about fire safety and emergency protocol.

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And so Fish Finelli was born—a Renaissance boy with insatiable curiosity but also with practical know-how (I decided having a plumber for a father was the way to go), a boy who could understand the Archimedes’ principle of water displacement but who also knew how to augur a clogged drain. A boy who was so excited by knowledge he couldn’t help but share it with everyone (which led me to the nonfiction sidebar concept). A boy who lived in a seventies’ (but modern) version of East Hampton, NY,  a small town by the ocean, where people know each other and have known each other for years, where kids often go to the same school their parents went to, where the summer brings a whole influx of new people from the city and beyond. Like the Great Brain (a favorite character of my son’s and myself), I saw Fish as a boy’s boy, the kind of boy who despite his great brain, is down-to-earth and loyal to his friends, who likes to skateboard, paddle board, shoot marbles, climb trees. A boy living in a world where he is free to bike around town, to get into scrapes out of which he is perfectly capable of removing himself—with a little help from his friends—and with lots of laughs. The kind of boy I would have loved my son to know.

The next Fish Finelli adventure, Operation Fireball, releases next year. Could you share a little bit about it?

Operation Fireball is about the old Whaler Fish and his friends fix up in order to compete in the big summer boat race—the Captain Kidd Classic—Fish’s dream ever since he saw his dad’s trophy from when he raced back when he was Fish’s age.

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As in Seagulls Don’t Eat Pickles, the story is focused around a bet bully Bryce Billings has made and that Fish, true to form, has accepted—in this case Bryce bets Fish that he cannot possibly win the Classic in his old boat with a motor that doesn’t run and Fish counters that Bryce in his brand-new, top-of-the-line Viper will be eating the Fireball’s spray.

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The boat race scenario was something I came up with while writing the first book, inspired by the Little Rascals episode in which Spanky and Alfalfa fix up an old boat with the other kids in their gang and then race the rich kid in his fancy boat, determined to win, undaunted by the fact that the odds are stacked against them. This theme of knowing how to do things versus just having things, of making do with what you do have and making it work for you, is at the heart of Fish Finelli.

The story climaxes in the race, of course, but along the way Fish winds up finding out a lot more about Bryce, including why he’s a bully. He also learns what it really means to be a good mariner, which has nothing to do with winning or losing, and that is what Operation Fireball is about, too.

Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a FREE copy of Fish Finelli: Seagulls Don’t Eat Pickles.

Entering this great giveaway couldn’t be easier! Just leave a comment below and answer this question:

What is your favorite children’s book?

The giveaway is open worldwide and is accepting entries now through Friday July 12, 2013.

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