Papa’s Mechanical Fish

Papas Mechanical Fish

Title: Papa’s Mechanical Fish

Author: Candace Fleming

Illustrator:  Boris Kulikov


Papa is an inventor—well, sort of.  He loves to tinker in his backyard workshop, but sometimes the things he makes (like edible socks and steam-powered roller skates) just don’t work.  In Papa’s Mechanical Fish, Papa’s trips to Lake Michigan with his family inspire him to invent a way to be underwater and glide like a fish.  It takes him four epic fails, but Papa succeeds in designing and building a submarine that has an air purifying system, electric headlights, and velvet chairs!  He amazes his family with a ride under Lake Michigan followed by a picnic at the beach.  Kids will be surprised to learn that the story of this inventor is almost true.  The book is based on the real life of Lodner Phillips, who really did take his wife and kids under the waves of Lake Michigan.  A short biography of Lodner’s life is included at the end of this delightfully illustrated picture book.

Curriculum Connections:

Problem solving and inventing


Physical science- buoyancy

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