Saturday, July 17, 2010

Book Review: Fish Is Fish

Fish Is Fish by Leo Lionni

Fish and Tadpole are friends. They like to hang out and swim around. But one day, tadpole grows legs. He realizes he's going to become a frog. Fish says he can't turn into a frog, he's a tadpole. Tadpole says "fish is fish!" but tadpoles aren't fish and he does turn into a frog. Fish is lonely. But one day, Frog returns, and tells Fish all about the amazing things he's seen above the water. Fish though can't imagine what birds or cows or people look like, so he imagines them all as fish (you can see him thinking about a bird-fish on the cover image).

The descriptions Frog gives him are dazzling and tempting. And so one day Fish decides he wants to see things for himself. So he jumps out onto the riverbank. Which is of course a terrible idea because now he can't breath. Luckily Frog comes by just then and pushes him back in the water. Fish then agrees with his much earlier statement that "Fish is fish," and he also decides that there are a lot of cool, beautiful, and interesting things where he lives: under the water.

Fish is Fish is about being content with where you are, and not overreaching and always wanting more. Lionni's illustrations are always fantastic. Eye-popping colors with wild patterns and this time fantastical creatures too, are always intriguing to little and big readers alike. They're not overwhelming though because he pairs them with simple backgrounds and judicious use of white space. Secondarily it's also a book about being friends with someone who is different. And how even though one might move away and have different experiences, you can still be friends. All good messages!

This review is a part of Kid Konnection, hosted by Booking Mama, a collection of children's book-related posts over the weekend.


Julie P. said...

Sounds like a cute book and I can't help but love Lionni's illustrations! Thanks for sharing!

Jen said...

This sounds like such a cute book! I have a little nephew with a birthday coming up soon --- think I'll get this for him! :)

Stacy at The Novel Life said...

check out your lovely interview!

Nikki - Notes of Life said...

Sounds like a great kids book :)