Science Friday – Papa’s Mechanical Fish


Papa’s Mechanical Fish by Candace Fleming and pictures by Boris Kulikov is historical fiction with a scientific twist.

Papa is an inventor who conceives and invents all sorts of things. Edible socks – disgusting. Steam-powered roller skates – he forgot the brakes. One day his daughter asks, “Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a fish?” An obsession begins. Papa decides to create a mechanical fish. Through trial and error, he succeeds. His family joins him for a fish eye’s view under the water of Lake Michigan.

The last page of this book is called, “It’s Almost True.” Lodner Phillips was an eccentric man engrossed with the idea of inventing a submarine. After many attempts, his persistance paid off. His family joined him for a ride on his submarine, Whitefish, in 1851.

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