Book Guide

Late in March, when ice still hid the banks of the stream, Leaper broke out of his pale pink egg. For two years he fed and grew in his quiet pool, and then the time came to start his journey to the sea. The rushing current swept him swiftly downstream, past dangerous mink and heron and through city-polluted water. At last Leaper entered the ocean, but there were dangers here too—huge sharks, schools of tuna, and the trolling lines of fishing boats.

Three years passed before the salmon felt the mysterious urge to return to the stream where he had hatched. Now he faced the most difficult challenge of all. He drove through gill nets, over ten-foot falls, up fish ladders, constantly battling the current. Battered and worn, he finally nosed into his own pool and found new eggs to be fertilized.

The life cycle of a salmon is one of the most dramatic stories in nature, and the reader will follow Leaper's travels with fascination in these beautifully designed and illustrated pages. 

From the dust jacket

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Robert M. McClung

Robert M. McClung

1916 - 2006
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Buzztail and Leaper Reprint

Buzztail and Leaper
Reprinted in 2021 by Purple House Press
Available formats: Paperback
View on the Purple House Press site

Updates for Buzztail:

  • Replaced the word "poisonous" with the correct term "venomous"
  • Citation added for updated information regarding protocol for treating a snake bite (see example page)
  • Scientific information confirmed and updated if necessary

Updates for Leaper:

  • Facts page added at the end of book
  • Scientific information confirmed and updated if necessary

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Plumfield and Paideia

Buzztail and Leaper
Reviewed by Sara Masarik
My husband and sons love to fish. We live in Wisconsin, and an abundance of lakes and rivers here afford them many opportunities to fish all year round. Lake Michigan in particular is home to many salmon...

Read the full review on Plumfield and Paideia