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Children's Fiction Pets

Something's Fishy

by (author) Jeff Szpirglas & Danielle Saint-Onge

illustrated by Dave Whamond

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Sep 2013
Pets, School & Education, Humorous Stories
Recommended Age
6 to 8
Recommended Grade
1 to 3
Recommended Reading age
6 to 8
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2013
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2011
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Download Teacher’s Guide

Where to buy it


Jamie loves sharks. He reads about them. He talks about them. Sometimes he even pretends to be a shark. Too bad no one else wants to join his Shark Club. His peers and parents are quickly growing tired of his current obsession.

When Jamie's teacher, Mr. Claxton, brings in a new class pet, Jamie is put in charge. But Jamie has an accident while feeding it, and everyone becomes upset with him. He needs to find a way to make things right. In the end, he comes up with a solution that pleases both his teacher and classmates, a solution that also gives Jamie an opportunity to share his newest obsession—lizards.

About the authors



JEFF SZPIRGLAS is the author of multiple books in the Countdown to Danger series. In addition to his choose-your-own-path titles, Jeff has written award-nominated non-fiction books and several terrifying novels and horror collections for middle-grade readers, including Tales from the Fringes of Fear and Tales from Beyond the Brain. With his wife, Danielle Saint-Onge, he is the co-author of the Orca Echoes books X Marks the Spot!, Something's Fishy and Messy Miranda. He's worked at CTV Television and was an editor at Chirp, chickaDEE and Owl magazines. He has twin children, two cats (the cats are not twins) and one dog. In his spare time, he teaches elementary school. He lives in Kitchener, Ontario. Visit him online at


Jeff Szpirglas' profile page

Jeff Szpirglas and Danielle Saint-Onge live together in Toronto and teach in classrooms with students of diverse cultural backgrounds. Jeff has written several books, including Gross Universe and Fear This Book, as well as scripts for radio and television. He likes to make Danielle watch scary movies with him. Danielle has a master's degree in social anthropology and is a crusader for equity in the classroom. Whenever Jeff makes her watch a scary movie, she usually makes Jeff watch one about people in love afterward.

Danielle Saint-Onge's profile page

DAVE WHAMOND a illustré la série Margot et My Think-a-ma-Jink, tous deux gagnants du prix Blue Spruce. Il a également signé les illustrations des livres de Robert Munsch Quelle tête!, C’est petit ici! et Je raffole de l’école!, et est l'auteur d'une bande dessinée intitulée Reality Check, qui paraît quotidiennement dans un certain nombre de journaux nord-américains. Dave habite à Calgary, en Alberta.


DAVE WHAMOND is the creator of Oddrey and My Think-a-ma-Jink, both winners of the Blue Spruce Award. He illustrated the Robert Munsch books Braids!, Think Big! and School Rules! He also has a syndicated cartoon strip called Reality Check, which appears daily in a number of North American newspapers. Dave lives in Calgary, Alberta.

Dave Whamond's profile page


  • Short-listed, SYRCA Shining Willow Award nominee
  • Nominated, Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Awards - Shining Willow
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens

Excerpt: Something's Fishy (by (author) Jeff Szpirglas & Danielle Saint-Onge; illustrated by Dave Whamond)

Mr. Claxton took a deep breath. "Yes, Jamie?"
Jamie was so excited, he jumped to his feet. He kept jumping. "I think we should get—"
"A shark?" Kamal asked.
Jamie's eyes widened. "How did you know?"
"Because that's all you ever talk about. Sharks this. Sharks that," said Kamal. "Don't you think about anything else?"
Jamie shrugged. "I don't want our class to get just any shark," he said. "I think we should get a great white shark."

Editorial Reviews

"An energetic short novel...This book was refreshing to read and will surely entertain and surprise young readers. The content is written well, and children will easily be able to relate to their own classrooms and classroom experiences. The illustrations were interesting to look at and offered excellent visuals to add to the Jamie character. The author's experience as a teacher is evident and realistic. The portrayal of the Jamie character is excellent. Something's Fishy will be an excellent addition to a school or classroom library. Highly Recommended."

CM Magazine

"Uses humor to great effect, and the character dynamics are striking...Whamond's [illustrations] lean towards a cleaner comic style."

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"A fun school story that should appeal primarily to boys who are ready to start tackling chapter books...Has enough of an ick-factor, and humour to engage any reader. The illustrations by Dave Whamond add a great deal of detail to this lighthearted story, and kids should be quite engaged by both them and the antics in the plot."

Resource Links

Librarian Reviews

Something’s Fishy (Orca Echoes)

When his teacher announces the class is going to get a pet, Jamie is thrilled when it turns out to be a betta fish. He gets chosen to be the first student to care for the fish but ends up eating it instead. To make amends he comes up with an idea that will please both his teacher and his classmates.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Fall, 2012.

Other titles by Jeff Szpirglas

Other titles by Danielle Saint-Onge

Other titles by Dave Whamond