Newest Review: ... fish in the ocean, with shimmering shiny scales. He is admired by the other fish for these shine beautiful scales and he loves the attenti... more
Lovely Fishy Tale
The Rainbow Fish - Marcus Pfister
Member Name: arleek
The Rainbow Fish - Marcus Pfister
Advantages: Good message for kids, lovely illustrations
Disadvantages: Board book with same name - not as good
We actually have two versions of this book. The first my *eldest* daughter received on her first birthday from Surestart and I've now come to realise that this little hardback board book is a condensed version of the original. The second copy my *youngest* daughter received also on her first birthday, but from one of her Great Aunties. Now this version is an A4 sized paperback with the full length story inside.
The book is written by Marcus Pfister and the blurb on the back says it has won many awards which is encouraging.
The first part of this review will be about the second version we received (the long one), and then I will give my thoughts on the small board book version at the end.
When my daughter opened this on her birthday I have to admit I was a little bit disappointed because the other version we have has probably been read a total of three times in the 2 years we've had it, so I was presuming this would be exactly the same. But once I had a proper look at it, I realised this one was much better with lovely clear illustrations and a very detailed story.
The actual story is about a beautiful little fish who has scales of every shade of blue, green and purple, he also has lots of glittering silver scales among them. He is the envy of all the other fish in the sea and they named him the Rainbow Fish. The other fish thought he was amazing and always wanted to play with him, but because of his beauty he thought he was better than the other fish around him and generally ignored them.
One day when a little blue fish politely asked for one of his shiny scales, the Rainbow Fish refused and told him to go away. The little blue fish was shocked by this and told all his friends what happened, so then none of the other fish would have anything to do with the Rainbow Fish.
He was all alone, and one day poured his troubles out to the starfish, he couldn't understand why no one liked him when he was so beautiful. The starfish didn't know, but sent him to the wise octopus who advised him to give away his shining scales to the other fish and that way he might discover the secret to happiness.
Rainbow Fish was a bit unsure about this and didn't think he could be happy without his glittering scales. But when the little blue fish returned and asked again for just one scale, the Rainbow Fish decided to give it to him. When the Rainbow Fish saw how happy this had made the little blue fish, he felt very strange inside and eventually ended up sharing lots of his scales with the other fish in the sea until he only had one left.
At last he felt at home amongst the other fish when he was surrounded by glimmering scales, and he felt very very happy. And from then on the other fish were happy to play with the Rainbow fish and they were all friends together.
I think this is a wonderful book for young children. It teaches a valuable lesson to young children, and tells a wonderful tale of sharing things, which is a big issue in our house at the moment. I think it goes about it in such a good way that my nearly 3 year old daughter cannot fail to understand the meaning behind the story. The message is clear - if you don't share your most prized possessions (or favourite toys), people will turn away from you and not want to play with you; but if you share your favourite toys, other children will want to play with you and you will make many friends.
My eldest daughter is currently going through a horrible phase and is completely alienating herself from other children. She cannot stand anyone touching anything that she is playing with, kicks up an unnecessary fuss, and often has to be removed from the situation when there are other children involved. This is not good for her or anyone else! So I'm hoping that this book will go some of the way to help her understand the need for sharing and how it will make her a lot happier in the long run.
The illustrations throughout the book are beautiful, everything is done in shades of blue, green and purple with foil stamped glittering scales on each page - it really makes the pictures stand out. And as we often read this before bed with dimmed lights, the scales often catch the light and sparkle which my daughter finds enthralling. I think the illustrations are done in water colour which gives the pages a sort of soft focus and the story a really calming feel to it - great for bedtime! Certain parts of the book are left white which I think really helps to highlight the beautiful pictures even more.
I would say this book would be suitable for a child age 2 and above (I'm not sure why both my children received theirs on their 1st birthdays!) I don't think a child younger than 2 would be interested in this book, mainly because of the idea behind the story, but also because there is no rhyming content, which is what I prefer for younger children because I think it keeps their attention for longer. I don't think the illustrations would appeal to a younger child either because there is no sharp contrast between the colours and nothing really to catch a baby's eye.
And having said that, my 1 year old is not interested in either versions of this book, but my nearly 3 year old LOVES the long version, she has read it so many times, and often over and over again in the same sitting. But she is still not interested in the small board book version we have, which I will go onto describe next.
This is a small square book (approx 12x12cm in size) with 12 pages in total. The illustrations are the same as in the longer version, but just scaled down and they don't seem as vibrant. The actual story is the same but it's a very condensed version and it seems to be missing the 'meat' of the story. It's more like a summary of the real events and misses out the details you need to fully understand the message behind the story.
Myself as an adult can understand what is going on, but a young child may miss out on what the book is trying to tell them. I feel like things are not explained fully and it seems that you get to the end before you realise what is happening. And it's only since I have read the full length version that I now understand why no one in our house is really keen on this smaller one, it just seems empty and unfulfilling.
So I can fully recommend the full version to anyone with a child aged two and above, it's a beautifully illustrated book with a fabulous story which teaches a valuable lesson to children who are learning to share. But make sure you get the right one, not the shortened hardback!
Price on the back is £5.99 but is currently available on Amazon for £4.41.
And if you're interested, the board book is available on Amazon for £4.59.
Summary: Great story for pre-schoolers