GENESEO — When Kathi Fluck inherited her son's large fish tank when he went off to college, she had no idea that one day she would be writing a book about his gift.
“Bubbles” is the result of Fluck’s enjoyment of watching a gold Severum who occupied the tank.
”He seemed quite friendly and would come up to the front of the tank whenever I stopped by,” she said. “He was the largest fish in the tank and Severum can get up to eight inches long.”
She enjoyed all of the fish and discovered she found them to be “not only interesting and fun but peaceful to sit and watch."
"Later I purchased a pair of Angelfish and raised baby Angelfish for about a year. It was very interesting to see how they laid their eggs, how the eggs matured and eventually were able to swim. At times, I’d have a 75-gallon tank full of baby Angelfish.”
A friend encouraged Fluck to write a book about the Severum which she enjoyed watching most of all.
The storyline of “Bubbles” begins when a lady purchases him at a pet store where he had been in a tank with other fish. She takes him to the tank in her home where he is the lone fish.
“At first, he likes having the entire tank to himself,” Fluck said, and added, “but then he gets lonely, so she brings home five Angelfish and that scares ‘Bubbles’ because those fish don’t look like him. They had long fins and ‘Bubbles’ hides in a cave in the fish tank.”
Fluck said, “He thinks he should look mean so he makes the fins on his back stand up and that didn’t scare them. They even approached him and tell him their names. He tells them his name and how nice the fish tank or his ‘home’ is and they become friends.”
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“That’s how the idea to write ‘Bubbles’ was born,” she said. “I wanted the book to appeal to early readers because when kids learn to read by themselves, they feel so good, so I wanted my book to be a fun book about fish and a story about learning that new people can become your friends.”
Fluck said the book is a story about friendship.
”Being afraid to be friends with somebody because they are not just like you, and then ultimately you become friends and you realize it is a great thing.”
When her book was complete, Fluck took it to Northside Grade School in Geneseo where her sons had gone to school.
“I asked the first-grade teacher, Ellen Nelson, to read it to her students and give me feedback,” Fluck said. “She did better than that; she passed it on the second grade, third grade and fourth grades. The book was obviously too young for older readers, but their teacher had them write letters to me, giving me suggestions or commenting about the book. I loved reading the letters. The kids had such imaginations, one student said he imagined a whole series of ‘Bubbles’ books, like ‘Bubbles Goes on TV,’ or ‘Bubbles Goes to Washington’.”
Getting her story picked up by a publisher was difficult and Fluck said she did her best to get the book published. “I got no interest, so I put the book away,” she said. “Not long ago, I remembered ‘Bubbles’ and I thought about how it could be a good early reader book, so I had it published privately. I hope small children enjoy the imaginary world of ‘Bubbles’ and the talking Angelfish. I sure enjoyed writing it.”
Fluck currently is working on a second book, “Nugget,” which is another children’s book of a story told by a duck.
For information about purchasing a copy of “Bubbles,” email Fluck at firstname.lastname@example.org.