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I wish a wish...
The Fish Who Could Wish - John Bush
Member Name: juicy_lucy
The Fish Who Could Wish - John Bush
Advantages: Picture book with a message
Disadvantages: None whatsoever!
Another story with a message; I must be on a run of them at the moment.
I read this book to introduce children to the idea of wanting to be something you are not and of wanting too much.
In the deep blue sea,
In the deep of the blue,
Swam a fish who could wish,
And each wish would come true.
He wished for a castle,
He wished for a car,
But one day he wished
Just a little too far…
The fish swims round the sea, wishing for all kinds of things, and all of his wishes come true.
First, he wishes for a castle, and there it is, a huge castle with our fish swimming out of the door. Then it's a car, and our dashing fish is at the wheel, whizzing across the sea bed. He wishes for a horse and a Spanish guitar, and when he wishes to go skiing, it began to snow for a week under the sea…little lady is quite fascinated by this concept- snow under the sea. We like the picture when he wishes he could fly, and subsequently goes round the world twice. When it comes to avoiding being the sharks' dinner, he wishes himself too small to eat, and then that he was the shark, and the sharks were just fish.He wishes himself all kinds of shapes and gets a fine wardrobe.
There he is, that fish who could wish, swimming round looking at his fine suites, but was he wise? "…the one thing he never wished Was to be wise". One day, for a bit of fun, that silly fish wished a silly wish, and wished that he could be "…like all the other fish in the sea".
And what happens next, to finish the story is "…that was his very last wish that came true"
All of this is done in a rhyming style which children quickly learn, and there are usually only four lines to each double spread page; this style of writing means that a whole story has to be told in very few words.
The illustrations are, I think, what makes this book. The writing style is such that it leaves a lot to the imagination, and the illustrations certainly lend themselves to encouraging a vivid imagination.
They are very colourful and detailed and appeal to children's sense of humour and of the frequently ridiculous.
Each picture is a double page spread with the fish at the side, and a thought bubble coming from his head to the picture which is his wish.
Our favourite picture at the moment is the one where he wishes to ski, and it snows for a week under the sea. Our fish is skiing off what looks like a shipwreck, and there is a snowman fishing for fish; the fish are swimming complacently along the sea bed, looking bemusedly at the fish who could wish.
The expressions on the faces of the fish who could wish and the other fish truly capture the text and the meaning the writer is trying to convey.
Most of the time the hero of the story looks rather pleased with himself, and when he is singing accompanied by his Spanish guitar, we have a fabulous picture of him with his mouth wide open, "giving it his all". You can almost hear the noise- he looks so pleased to be singing along with his under water band. This is a great opportunity to look for the instruments and the creatures who are playing them.
All in all, the illustrations are pure fantasy and in the usual style of the illustrators fabulous pictures.
**PUBLISHER AND OTHER INFORMATION**
Published by: Oxford University Press
Price: Try www.amazon.co.uk for some good prices although as yet, I have not seen this book "going for pennies" as I have seen some other books being sold.
**OTHER BOOKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR**
The Giraffe Who Got in a Knot.
**OTHER BOOKS ILLUSTRATED BY KORKY PAUL**
If you have the book and enjoyed the illustrations, have a look for these books…
Winnie the Witch
Call Me Sam
The Cat That Scratched
The Dog That Dug
The Duck That Had No Luck
The Wonky Donkey
Has a lot of information on all of the books he has illustrated- I didn't know there were so many.
Plus, if you are interested, there is information on the author.
I think this picture book is excellent and have read it on numerous occasions, both to my own little miss and to groups of children.
Although it is a story with a message, it is also an brilliantly constructed and illustrated story book. If your main aim is just to read a highly enjoyable story, give it a go. Children love the illustrations and if given time, will find so much more detail than you originally noticed; every time I read this to children, we find something new to look at and wonder.
The message is an important aspect of the story- be happy with yourself. Even if the "reading" of the message was not my main and specific intention, children frequently realize what the author is trying to tell us, and often comment on the fact that the fish was indeed silly. We talk lots about what we would wish for and it links in nicely with assembly themes and wishes for the wider community.
The rhyming style is superb and keeps the rhythm throughout the story. We often make up our own wishes and try to write 4 line sentences in the same rhyming style.
There is also the art and craft you can get out of this. Make huge colourful fish using cds and/ or foil. Make little fish for a huge collage.
Use the book to be bright and bold and enjoy.
I have read it to children as young as 4… it's a favourite of little miss and have found that children up to about 9 still enjoy it.
I would, for all of these reasons, highly recommend it.
Thanks for reading
Summary: Excellent picture book with an important message for children