Cover image for Steamboat Annie and the thousand-pound catfish
Steamboat Annie and the thousand-pound catfish
Wright, Catherine (Catherine E.)
Publication Information:
New York : Philomel Books, 2001.
Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 23 x 29 cm
An ornery giant catfish that does not like singing causes trouble for the residents of a little town called Pleasant, until Steamboat Annie teaches him a lesson.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.8 0.5 55177.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



His name's Ernie, and he's an ornery, stubborn, hot-tempered thousand-pound catfish at that. What's a town called Pleasant to do when this worthless whiskered rascal and his wormy sidekick are making it downright unpleasant? Call Steamboat Annie, that's what! Told in a rollicking voice that is a perfect compliment to Howard Fine's vibrant illustrations, here is a book in the tradition of Swamp Angel: tall-tale telling at its tallest, and picture book making at its most fun.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4-8. In her first title for children, Wright offers a rambunctious tall tale that bursts with the genre's bluster, hilarity, and outrageous lies. Steamboat Annie is the ultracapable mayor of Pleasant, an Ohio River town so musical that even the cows sing. The town's nemesis is Ernie, "a thousand-pound, mean, fighting whiskered catfish," who terrorizes the citizens because he hates music. When Annie volunteers to capture Ernie, she's challenged by Jefferson Jackson, a slimy, cheating chauvinist who claims women can't fish. Of course, in deliciously exaggerated style, Annie shows him up. The mildly colloquial language is filled with irresistible description and trash talk ("you uppity frog-kissin' steamboat captain") that kids will love, and the larger-than-life characters explode into life thanks to Fine's wonderfully expressive, detailed paintings. A winning yarn for read-alouds or giggly lap sharing. --Gillian EngbergReference Books Bulletin

Publisher's Weekly Review

According to newcomer Wright's 1,000-pound catfish character Ernie, Mayor Annie is an "uppity frog-kissin' steamboat captain" who should stay at home and "bake some cookies." But vivacious Annie has other ideas in this lively tall tale that features a heroine who can out-sing, out-talk and out-fish slimy, handsome villain Jefferson Jackson (who wants to be mayor) and his fishy friend. Catfish Ernie can't stand the constant singing of the citizens of Pleasant even the town's lone cow sings solos at the church so he decides to gobble not only the boats that journey down the Ohio River, but the town's church as well. With a colloquial style featuring plenty of outlandish exaggerations, Wright describes how Annie hooks Ernie and hangs on for a year and a half, all the while playing the calliope with her toes "so that folks would have dancing music." Fine's (Piggie Christmas) energetic, acrylic paintings feature skewed perspectives, striking landscapes, eccentric portraits bursting from portholes, 19th-century characters whose red-cheeked faces and white teeth look carved from wood, and even a spectacular close-up of Steamboat Annie's bare foot. Although the exuberant plot at times grows unwieldy, and the feisty-feminist slant to the story seems a little heavy-handed, Wright's "fearsome fishing battle" brims with sly humor and enthusiasm. Ages 4-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-In this literary tall tale, everyone in the Ohio River town of Pleasant sings, which drives Ernie, a 1000-pound catfish, so crazy that he starts a feud by chomping on a ferry boat, eating Doc's dock, destroying Tom Sawyer's raft, and even eating the church. When the outspoken Steamboat Annie offers to rid the town of this fishy nuisance, Slimy Jefferson Jackson, who wants to be mayor, makes a deal with the catfish that if he will eat Annie, Jefferson will throw in the town's annoying singing cow for a tasty snack. However, in a loud exchange of insults, Annie tricks them both and ends up being towed by the fish up and down the Ohio and the Mississippi. A year and a half later, she has finally worn Ernie out, and she flings him clear to California, where he still causes earthquake trouble. Jefferson Jackson is saved for other uses. True to the genre, the highly humored telling is larger-than-life and features a memorable heroine plus not one but two loathsome villains, and Fine's exaggerated perspectives in bold acrylic paintings contribute to the good fun. A resounding success.-Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.