Cover image for Halibut Jackson
Halibut Jackson
Lucas, David, 1966-
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, [2003]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 31 cm
Halibut Jackson is so shy that he makes special outfits to blend in wherever he goes, but the clothes he wears to a party at the palace only make him stand out.
General Note:
"A Borzoi Book."
Reading Level:
AD 480 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.5 0.5 76905.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.6 1 Quiz: 42349.

Format :


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

On Order



A picture book about shyness from a new and truly innovative artist

Halibut Jackson is shy. He would prefer not to be noticed at all. But he loves to make his own suits, especially suits that help
him blend into the background: He has a flowered suit for the park, a book-patterned suit for the library, and a fruit-adorned suit for the shops. But mostly he stays indoors. When Halibut's invited to a party at the palace, he's too bashful to go, until he decides to make a palace-patterned suit. "No one will even notice me!" he thinks. Except that it's a garden party . . . and everyone notices Halibut. Soon, he's the most popular guy in town, thanks to his skills with a needle and thread, and his fabulous fashion sense.

This is a winning homage to shy people everywhere. Do you know a Halibut Jackson?

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS-Gr. 1. Halibutackson has an outfit for every occasion, but while most fashionistas dress to stand out in a crowd, Halibut strives for the opposite effect. He sews weirdly wonderful suits that blend, chameleon-like, into any background. His methods backfire when he attends a fete at the king and queen's castle and bases his jewel-encrusted attire on the assumption that the party will be in some sparkling ballroom. Turns out it's a garden party, and Halibut's gleaming ensemble attracts everyone's attention--eliciting so much praise that he leaves anonymity behind for good. The frequent use of italics in the text (But mostly Halibutackson stayed indoors ) is inexplicable, but the story is simply presented, and children struggling with their own shyness will respond to Halibut's social anxieties. What may entrance kids most, however, are Lucas' charming line-and-watercolor paintings. The playful, jam-packed scenes, which distract the eye from the camouflaged Halibut, add a whimsical seek-and-find element that extends the book's appeal. --Jennifer Mattson Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Bluebirds wearing crowns soar overhead, pineapples spring from the ground and Indian women draped in saris look on as Lucas's (Shaggy and Spotty) shy hero triumphs over his fear of being noticed. Halibut Jackson likes "to blend into the background." Light-hearted, economical ink-and-wash spreads show the hero in camouflage that literally achieves that goal; in one ink-and-wash spread, he leans against a brick wall in town, his huge hat and almost hemispherically shaped coat printed with red and orange bricks. In another, he stands in front of a library bookshelf, his hat and coat this time striped with book-width bands of color. When Halibut receives an invitation to the palace, he worries about going until it occurs to him to make himself a bejeweled hat and coat to match the palace walls. The event turns out to be a garden party, however, and Halibut stands out like a beacon. But the attention proves agreeable-everyone begs for a gem-encrusted suit just like his. "Now Halibut Jackson had friends," concludes the narrator with satisfaction. "Now Halibut Jackson had plenty to do." The pure fancy of Halibut's world distinguishes Lucas's first solo effort: blue horses trot through town, trees sprout marvelous fruit and shy chaps named for fish receive invitations from the Queen. Halibut may prefer to hide, but kids will immediately recognize the authenticity of his feelings. Ages 3-8. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-Halibut Jackson is so shy he hardly goes out at all, but when he does, he wears a suit that serves as camouflage. His garden outfit is grass green and adorned with flowers. His food-shopping attire sports bright-red apples. His library ensemble displays books on shelves. When he receives an invitation to a birthday party at the palace, he makes a suit of "silver and gold, covered with jewels," hoping to blend in with the palace itself. The party, however, is in the garden, and Halibut Jackson definitely stands out from the other guests-and is admired rather than ridiculed. So many suit orders pour in that he soon gathers enough courage to open his own clothing shop. The text is brief, with just the right amount of repetition. The large, busy watercolor illustrations, many of them spreads, are executed in a pastel palette and abound in curlicues and swirled shapes. There are many comical touches in these cartoon renderings: someone dressed as an apple handing out notices in the food market; Halibut Jones at home, wearing a suit made of the same material as the chair in which he sits facing a picture of himself with his hands covering his face; and people wearing unusual hats and outfits. Pair this offering with Rosemary Wells's Shy Charles (Dial, 1988) to encourage young wallflowers to bloom.-Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.