A Mouthful of Minnows (Hardcover)

A Mouthful of Minnows By John Hare, John Hare (Illustrator) Cover Image

A Mouthful of Minnows (Hardcover)

By John Hare, John Hare (Illustrator)

$17.99


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May/June 2022 Kids Indie Next List


“With sacrifice and heroism reinforced by adventure and storytelling, A Mouthful of Minnows develops Alfonso the turtle much like a child. An exciting story with great illustrations showing that the cream still rises to the top.”
— Robin Gross, Books on the Square, Providence, RI

A fishing story like no other! 

Alphonso the alligator snapping turtle can’t wait for breakfast. But what if his breakfast is too likable and friendly to eat? A Mouthful of Minnows is a humorous picture book about patience, generosity, friendship, and empathy (as well as the awesome mysteries of nature!) that will lure in fans of Ryan T. Higgins’s We Don’t Eat Our Classmates and Peter Brown’s You Will Be My Friend!

At the bottom of the pond, Alphonso the snapping turtle opens his mouth wide, wiggles his worm-like tongue, and waits patiently for breakfast. He barely notices a measly minnow, but he’s thrilled when the entire school shows up. Alphonso’s perseverance has paid off! But when a whole family of minnows arrives to celebrate together, Alphonso’s true character emerges, and he has second thoughts about the breakfast he’s been waiting for. 

Acclaimed author-artist John Hare’s artwork is textured, playful, educational, and energetic, bringing the depths of the underwater setting to life. A Mouthful of Minnows is a surprising and heartwarming picture book that is a great choice for story time and bedtime.

Includes information about alligator snapping turtles.  


John Hare worked as a production artist, graphic designer, and art director before realizing that he wanted nothing more than to bring stories to life for young readers. His acclaimed debut picture book, Field Trip to the Moon, was called a “close encounter of the best kind” by Kirkus Reviews and was named to numerous best-of-the-year lists. John Hare spent much of his youth drawing comics, writing silly stories, and exploring the countryside of Southeast Kansas. One time, he had several bait minnows left over after going fishing, so he put them in his goldfish aquarium, figuring he’d scoop them out the next time he went fishing. That fishing trip came and went, and well . . . let’s just say the minnows lived happily ever after in the aquarium. The artist now lives in Missouri with his wife, two sons, and dog. He still loves to draw, write, and fish, but now he uses lures—like Alphonso!



John Hare worked as a production artist, graphic designer, and art director before realizing that he wanted nothing more than to bring stories to life for young readers. His acclaimed debut picture book, Field Trip to the Moon, was called a “close encounter of the best kind” by Kirkus Reviews and was named to numerous best-of-the-year lists. John Hare spent much of his youth drawing comics, writing silly stories, and exploring the countryside of Southeast Kansas. One time, he had several bait minnows left over after going fishing, so he put them in his goldfish aquarium, figuring he’d scoop them out the next time he went fishing. That fishing trip came and went, and well . . . let’s just say the minnows lived happily ever after in the aquarium. The artist now lives in Missouri with his wife, two sons, and dog. He still loves to draw, write, and fish, but now he uses lures—like Alphonso!

Product Details ISBN: 9780063093225
ISBN-10: 0063093227
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: May 10th, 2022
Pages: 40
Language: English

“Alphonso is an alligator snapping turtle, a species with a wormlike tongue that attracts unsuspecting fish. . . . He parks at the bottom of the pond with mouth open wide and tongue wriggling, waiting for breakfast to swim in. But when a school of minnows decides that the “worm” would make a perfect birthday present . . . Alphonso is so overcome that he not only loses his appetite, he also saves [them] . . . Hare’s spot-on characterizations are matched by the beauty of the book’s digitally finished acrylic settings.” — Publishers Weekly

“Alphonso, a snapping alligator turtle with a pink, worm-like tongue that baits unsuspecting prey, plunges to the bottom of the pond, opens his mouth wide, and waits for breakfast to appear. Soon one minnow arrives, then several more . . . Hare's digitally enhanced acrylic-on-hardboard paintings are richly hued . . . [and] an appended note offers additional facts about this Ankylosaurusesque species, including suitable real-world cautions.” — Booklist