Week 1 Rainbow Fish


Title & Author: The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

Summary: Although beautiful, Rainbow Fish becomes lonely and sad when he is shunned by all the other fish when he won't share his beautiful, sparkly scales. Looking for advice, he turns to other sea creatures (a startfish, a wise octopus) and is encouraged to share. He soon learns the true meaning of happiness and friendship.
Reference: Pfister, M. (1992). The rainbow fish. New York, NY: North-South Books.
My Impressions: Not being a children's librarian, or a child after the time this book was published, I had never heard of this book before taking this class. With its simple watercolors and storyline, it's one of my new favorites. Although I'm sure this is a book that many parents would use to teach their children about the value of sharing, I think it's one that is easily accessible for children, as well. The straightforward story is one that even the very young can find meaning in.
Professional Review: "Proud of his shimmering silver scales, RainbowFish disdains the plainer fish who asks him to share his treasures. When word of his refusal gets around, RainbowFish finds that the other fish swim away at his approach. A wise old octopus advises him to share his scales. When he does, RainbowFish finds that the more he gives to others, the happier he feels. The plot is rather predictable, but the artwork certainly catches the eye. Incorporated into the fluid, watercolor paintings, iridescent foil catches every light and radiates colored sparkles that would be the envy of any fish and will fascinate preschoolers. A gimmick? Well, yes, but in context it works. A popular choice for picture book displays."
Phelan, C. (1993, Jan. 1). [Review of the book The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister]. Booklist Jan. 1, 1993. Retrieved from http://booklistonline.com

Library Uses: I would use this book not only with young children to teach them the value of sharing, but also with older (middle grades - even high school) in a program about world religions, in order to introduce the Buddhist concept of not being tied to "things" in order to bring happiness into one's life.

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