Gr 1-3-Reczuch's illustrations capture the natural beauty of stream and ocean in which the intriguing life cycle of the coho salmon occurs. With so much inherent drama in the facts, LeBox's decision to tell the story as a romanticized account of a fish named Sumi is unfortunate. While still in her egg, Sumi hears the mystical song of her dying mother, and her life becomes devoted to following a poetic dream, narrated in prose laced with couplets such as, "The males grew fangs and fierce hooked noses./Their scales became the color of roses." A time line of the fish's life cycle and an essay on threats to the salmon follow Sumi's story. Books such as Molly Cone's Come Back, Salmon (Sierra Club, 1992) demonstrate how real stories effectively told can be more compelling than cloying personifications. Let this book swim by with some wistful regret that the lovely art wasn't better served.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.