Friday, September 11, 2009

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

I have a confession to make. I never read Rainbow Fish when I was little, and I am told by my roommates that I had a truly deprived childhood :-) Not to worry though, I have read it now and apparently redeemed my youth. Here is the sad part though, I think I was missing out!
There is no dust jacket on this book, but the endpapers are very well incorporated in the story. On it is a scene with the rainbow fish swimming along in a sea of blues and violets. While investigating the title page I discovered one of the most interesting things about this book, aside from the added iridescent fish scales. This book was originally printed in Switzerland in a different language. It wasn't translated into English until 1992. Aside from the story itself, my favorite part of this book are the illustrations. More specifically the fact that they look like they were originally done in water color. Again they are simple, which is good because they do not take away from the story rather they add to it. They help you to visualize being under the sea and what the rainbow fish might look like. Also, I think that the addition of the special "rainbow" scales will appeal to the students- they attracted my eye and I am a few years past elementary school!

Really though, the important thing here is the story. I really liked how the moral was easy to detect so that younger students could discern it by themselves. I feel this is good because it seems as though something is lost when the moral of a story must be explained to you. In addition, the moral is a good one. It tells of discovering friendship and when you give of yourself, you gain the most. Once again I feel that I must yield to the experts on the age recommendation. The librarians suggest this book for students ages 4 to 8 and I agree.

This book is not only part of a series, it is an Abby Winner!

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