Mike Fink: A tall tale

by Steven Kellogg

Other authorsSteven Kellogg (Illustrator)
Paperback, 1993



Call number




Scholastic (1993), 40 pages


Relates the extraordinary deeds of the frontiersman who became King of the Keelboatmen on the Mississippi River.

User reviews

LibraryThing member dtortorice
This is a tall tale about Mike Fink. As a young lad he hates to be indoors. His family tried to confine him and at two he runs away. He dreams of becoming a keelsboatsmen on the river. Its a long journey but finally he finds his place...
LibraryThing member dukefan86
Mike Fink is another tall tale enhanced and brought to life by Steven Kellogg's colorful and detailed illustrations! Thanks to the retelling of this story and the accompanying illustrations of life along the Mississippi and keelboating, I want to pick up a Mark Twain book!
LibraryThing member beckytillett
Mike Fink is the tale of a baby who was so out-of-place in his society that he left his family once he grew up and went to work on the riverboats. The story has a lot of exaggerations and works well with a unit on folk tales.
LibraryThing member SweetBeeBecky
This was the second time I had read this version of the tale of Mike Fink, and I enjoyed it even more now than when I read it ten years ago. The watercolor-type illustrations are paired perfectly with the story, showing exaggeration of the events that make this tale a tall one. Mike Fink could
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supposedly wrestle crocodiles into submission and other such feats of strength practically from the time he was a baby, and although he was challenged many times by other river men in the southeastern United States of long ago, he never lost his ranking as the strongest. Although it is filled with exaggeration, students will appreciate it for its illustrations and for its loose history and descriptions of southeastern culture of about 100 years ago, as well as for its entertaining story. The themes of determination, loyalty, positivity, and perseverance could also be explored during the reading of this story.
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LibraryThing member mfurth1
I was not a fan of this book. It sounded like a parody of the story of Paul Bunyan. I honestly am not sure which story came first, but it may be that one influenced the other. The story was easy to follow and slightly entertaining. I really loved how Baby Mike ran away from home. The illustrations
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matched perfectly and brought the story more to life for me. I especially like the illustrations of the steam boat and row boat fight. All in all, the book was good, just not my favorite. The main point of the story was to show that children of settlers had to be strong to survive. I can see this story being told to small children to inspire them to be strong and to warn them away from becoming keelboat operators.
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LibraryThing member wichitafriendsschool
Mike Fink was king of the keelboatmen -- the strongest, rowdiest bunch of fellows ever to work on the Mississippi. Mike was a whole lot more than a keelboater -- yes, sir! He was a crack shot and the best grizzly and gator wrestler on the river. They don't make 'em like Mike these days, now do they?


Original publication date



0590473522 / 9780590473521
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