The Definitive Guide to

Papa's Mechanical Fish

Written by Candace Fleming & illustrated by Boris Kulikov
5.25 / 7.0
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 3.9 / 5.0
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Prices as of Oct 22
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used $3.89
Jun 4, 2013
Publication Date
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What's This Book About

Publisher Summary

In the summer of 1851, with encouragement and ideas provided by his family, an inventor builds a working submarine and takes his family for a ride. Includes notes about Lodner Phillips, the real inventor on whom the story is based.

What Kind of Book is Papa's Mechanical Fish

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

Readerly Mom
Bay Area mother of two, world traveler, book lover, picky reader
5.25 / 7.0
The Book Snob Mom
Mom of boys. Lover of Harry Potter, Jane Austen and believes one can never own too many children's books!
5.25 / 7.0

All about an inventor who never seems to be able to get anything just right, but who, with the help of some thought-provoking questions from his daughter, lots of iteration and oodles of family support tries and tries again to perfect one design… a mechanical fish! The illustrations are fun and quirky and the lesson that failure is just a step on the pathway to improvement is important.

English Degree, Former SAHM, Grammy Extraordinare
5.25 / 7.0

This is a great story about exploring ideas; sometimes they work out and sometimes they need more work. The creative dad in this book just keeps working on his ideas, most of which don’t really succeed. Although so many of his ideas have fallen short, he doesn’t get discouraged, and no one in his family is ever critical; everyone just keeps thinking and nurturing curiosity. The painterly illustrations engage the reader in the action, both of the inventor and his family who have their own activities parallel to the father’s pursuits. This story is on the long side, although the repetition and reiterations work to keep young readers engaged and there is plenty to look at on every page. It is a terrific book for STEM topics and encouraging curiosity, perseverance, thinking, and patience.

Book Lists That Include Papa's Mechanical Fish

Book Topics › inventions
Children's Books About Inventions
Book Topics › coping with failure
Children's Books About Coping With Failure
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Who Wrote Papa's Mechanical Fish

Candace Fleming

Candace Fleming is the prolific author of <i>The Family Romanov</i>, a Sibert Honor Book and the recipient of both the <i>Boston Globe-Horn</i> Book Award and the <i>Los Angeles Times</i> Book Award for Young Adult Literature; <i>Amelia Lost, </i> which received four starred reviews; <i>and The Great and Only Barnum</i>, a YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction nominee and a <i>Publishers Weekly </i>and <i>Booklist</i> Best Book. She is also the author of many highly acclaimed picture books, including <i>Oh, No!, </i> illustrated by Eric Rohmann, and middle grade, including <i>The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School</i>. Visit her on the web at or on Twitter: @candacemfleming.

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Who Illustrated Papa's Mechanical Fish

Boris Kulikov

Boris was born in Russia, and graduated from The Institute of Theater, Music and Cinema in St. Petersburg. He emigrated to the United States in 1997 and his career there began as an illustrator for the New York Times Book Review. Boris currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife Yelena Romanova, who is an author and two sons Max and Andre.

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What Has Candace Fleming Said About This Book

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What Has Boris Kulikov Said About This Book

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Book Details

Publication Date:
June 4, 2013
Library of Congress Number (LCCN):
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Core Score - 66%
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Depth Score - 15%
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