The Fish Who Cried Wolf
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The Fish Who Cried Wolf

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  465 ratings  ·  58 reviews
From the award-winning team behind ROOM ON THE BROOM -- a very fishy story about very fishy stories!

The little fish Tiddler comes late to school every day, but always with an elaborate excuse that entrances his classmates -- and annoys his teacher! One day, as he's thinking up his next story, a net sweeps him up and hauls him far away. How will Tiddler find his way home? A...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Arthur A. Levine Books (first published 2007)
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Oct 14, 2012 James rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to James by: Nathaniel
Nathaniel wanted uncle James to read him his new library book – Tiddler. The story is about Tiddler, a small fish who is always late for class. He makes up increasingly tall tales to explain his lateness. Nobody believes him but his stories start to spread throughout the fish world. Sort of a Nemo who cried wolf story. Of course, eventually Tiddler is properly late and uses his previous stories to return home safely.
Mairead Flannery
It’s is a story about a little fish whose name was Tiddler who was always late. Each time he was late he made up crazy excuses. Then there was one day he had a reason to be late for school and told everyone. But would they believe he this time?

Students really enjoy reading and listening to the story and the little fishes excuses. I uses it as a guided reading book in a year 3 class. I found it a good book as the there are lots of exercise you can get the children to do after reading the book . I...more
Oluwatobi Majekodunmi
A story of Tiddler the tiny fish, who everyday would dream up tall tales to tell his classmates why he was always late for school. Until one day his day dreaming got him lost and caught up in his very own tall tale; but luckily his tales help him find his way back home.
This is a wonderful tale of a little fish's underwater adventures told in rhythmic text with a rather relaxed lolloping rhyme accompanied by bright bold illustrations. Tiddler is a little fish with a big imagination who arrives la...more
Tom Stickings
Tiddler is one of those special stories that seem to capture children’s attention immediately and keep it for the duration, while making them laugh a great deal throughout. Tiddler, the star of the book, is a little fish with a penchant for telling wild stories, usually involving some feat of heroism on his part. When Tiddler finds himself in very apparent danger, however, the reality seems much less enjoyable than the fiction.

Lost and far from home, Tiddler sees no way out of trouble. Yet, unb...more
Laura Black
This book tells the story of Tiddler, a little grey fish who is never on time but has always got a story as to why.
It sees Tiddler arriving late to school on a few occasions, offering ellaborate excuses for his impunctuality. These tales involve octopuses, shipwrecks and turtles, and the stories spread like wildfire, from one fish, to another, and another...
One day, Tiddler is on his way to school when he is so distracted by daydreaming that he gets cuaght in the net of a fishing boat. He eentu...more
'Tiddler' is about a small story telling fish who is always late for class. Every time he has an extravagant tale to tell about his reasons. At the end Tiddler gets caught in a net and making his way back home he actually experiences most of the things that he had previously lied about. He hears a tale of his current endeavour and tries to find out where it came from realising it stemmed from his previous tales.

I enjoyed the book because it related back to the classroom environment yet was adven...more
By Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

Tiddler is a little fish that “blows small bubbles but tells tall tales”. Every day he arrives late for fish school and every day his excuses is a taller tale. At school nobody really believes him except impressionable Little Johnny Dory, who is excited by his stories that he tells his granny, who in turn tells them to a plaice, and thus the stories are spread across the ocean. One day while dreaming up his next fantasy, he gets to live a real adventure of...more
If you’re looking for a book that has a moral about honesty and not telling lies, this isn’t it — go get some other version of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” instead. But if you’re looking for a book that celebrates the power of storytelling and fiction in a fun way, then read this book! I couldn’t help but think of the movie Finding Nemo here, with the little fish in school and an amazing story getting passed from one sea creature to another (you may remember that in Finding Nemo, a story gives littl...more
Mamoon Razaq
Tiddler is the story of a small fish that loves telling tales is always late to fish school for some reason. Tiddler has a very different imagination to everyone else in the book.

Then one day Tiddler gets caught in a net, although the fisherman throw him back in the sea he gets lost in the sea. How will Tiddler make it home now?

After telling so many tales it has finally caught up with him and he must find a way now to get home.

A great book with rhythmic text and the illustrations are all in det...more
Carmen Maya
Tiddler tells the story of a very cheeky fish who is always late for school and who loves to make up stories… “Oh, no he didn’t!” “Oh yes he did!”

This charming book is a retake on the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and enables the children to talk about right and wrong, truth and lies, good and bad.

It is particularly suited to young children from Reception age all the way up to upper KS1. It is a great book to keep in the classroom, filled with colours and eye-catching illustrations that enc...more
Anthony (uel)
Another excellent story book from the children's literary duo of Donaldson and Shefffler. The rhymes encuorage children to join in and the fantastic illustrations keep all reception children captivated, espcecially as it may hold a mirror up to their own tale telling...USe it as part of a PSED topic around telling the truth or KUW for under the sea.
Leanne Proctor
A really fun book to read as a class or for your book corner. Very colourful.
Tiddler is a small fish with big stories. He is so small that he couldn't have had all the experiences he talks about....could he?
Tiddler is a little fish who likes to tell big tales. This book follows a tiny fish called Tiddler who likes to dream up stories as excuses for him being late for school. These are always tall tales which none of the other fish believe, except for little Johnny Dory. Johnny spreads the story and eventually everyone knows about it. This is crucial because Tiddler gets swept up into a fisherman’s net and finds himself lost in the ocean. He has lots of adventures and eventually finds his way home b...more
Another gem of a book by Julia Donaldson book, which will have children enthralled and wanting more. The illustrations, by Axel Scheffler, are his usual bold, ingenious and original works of art with fantastic attention to detail.
'Once there was a fish and his name was Tidder.
He wasn't much to look at, with his plain grey scales.
But Tiddler was a fish with a big imagination.
He blew small bubbles but he told tall tales.'
Repetition is aplenty in this book, which helps maintain the children's atten...more
Catherine Smith
Tiddler The Story-telling Fish is a book about a small fish named Tiddler who is always late for class. Each time he is late, he makes up a different story as to why he has arrived late. The story then develops as one day he then has a reason for being late, and he uses his story to arrive back at school.

I enjoyed reading this book and think it would be really well received by a Reception or Year 1 class, and possibly by older classes as there are a lot of different discussion and teaching point...more
I love anything by Julia Donaldson so you can imagine my gleeful squeals (and the unaware and unimpressed people around me!) when she was announced Children's Laureate while I was hunting out of print books in Hay-On-Wye a couple of years back.

Tiddler checks all the boxes as a Julia Donaldson picture book always does. We love our fishy fishes.

Bit of trivia rather than another review you probably don't need for these high calibre books ...

We all love the Gruffalo right! Erm, exclamation no quest...more
Bridget R. Wilson
Tiddler, a very small fish, is almost always late to school. He always has some fantastic tale to explain his absence. His adventures with seahorses, stingrays, dolphins, mermaids, and squids all explain his tardiness. One day, while thinking up a new story (penguins this time), Tiddler is caught in a fishing net. He eventually makes it to school. Surprisingly, no one believes his tale, though for once Tiddler is telling the truth.

What I thought: This story puts a neat twist on the old tale "The...more
Holly Martin
This book is about a fish called 'Tiddler', he is famous for being a samll fish but telling big tales! The story follows Tiddler as he comes up with a different story every day to explain why he is late, all of which being untrue. The stories he tells work their way through the animals in the sea. The story follows the trail Tiddler makes to find his way back to school after a series of unfortunate events. This book is an excellent story to read to pupils within the Early Years Foundation stage...more
The Styling Librarian
Tiddler – The Story-Telling Fish by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler - Beautiful little story about an exaggerating fish who, when he finally has a story to tell he’s lost… funny enough his tall tales help him head home. Very cute. I think this book was lost at my school and I grabbed another copy since students saw a play adaptation of it…
Whitney Rachel
I really like Julia Donaldson, but this one was just alright for me. The illustrations are fantastic as always and I thought the story was good, but something was missing. I don't know what.
This is my favourite of Donaldson's books. Fun, clever and beautifully illustrated; I never get tired of reading this with my son.
This is the terrific story of Tiddler who `blows small bubbles but tells tale tails'. Each day he is late for school excusing it with increasingly wild stories that none of his friends believe but Little Johnny Dory loves Tiddler's stories and tells them to his Granny who tells them to others in the ocean, who in turn tell them to yet others until Tiddler's tall stories bring him home again when he is lost and afraid.

With Axel Scheffler's wonderfully vivid drawings, including the Gruffalo fish c...more
Ian Smith
I had never come across this book until this week despite being a fan of Julia Donaldson's work. I read the book with pre-school children a few times and they loved it. As always illustrated beautifully too but really the writing is the key thing here.

The book is essentially a version of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, but it flows really well and there is enough repetition in it to be useful (especially with little ones) but not so much that it becomes irritating.

Overall I liked this book very much an...more
Acey Bee
This book has similar traits to the boy who cried wolf I really enjoyed this book. It is about a story telling fish called Tiddler who is always giving crazy excuses of why he is late to school and just like "The boy who cried wolf". Tiddler unfortunately trying to come up with his best story yet does gets lost and is therefore late for school. However there is a twist with this book his stories do not come back to haunt him they lead him all the way back home.

This can be used in KS1 PSHCE why...more
Cordellya Smith
This is a wonderful retelling of the boy who cried wolf.
Little Tiddler makes up tall tales for all the reasons he is late for school...He found a shipwreck, met a mermaid, captured by a squid, caught in a net. Until one day he really did find himself in a unknown place full of dangers and new faces. How did he find his way home? By listening carefully to his own tall tales that formed a chain of gossip throughout the blue waters. The Fish Who Cried Wolf is a different twist on an old tale.

Used for "Fish-A-Mania" storytime-July, 2010.

Jul 22, 2011 Jennie added it
Age: 4-7

Genre: Traditional/Folktale

Diversity: species, imagination

Illustrations: Colorful and detailed images of sea creatures and the ocean environment.

Personal Response: I enjoyed this modern version of the classic folktale, but I think that by changing the original message of the story the moral lesson of the book is missing or incomplete.

Curriculum: This book could be used in a kindergarten lesson about the ocean, as there are many types of creatures in the book.
I don't usually like books that have a "lesson," but this one was different. Tiddler always has a wild story to explain his being late to school. The other fish always say, "It's only a story...just a silly story." But Little Johnny Dory says, "I like Tiddler's story, and then he tells it to his granny who tells it to someone else. Then one day, Tiddler has a real adventure, and his stories help him out. I also liked the illustrations by Axel Scheffler.
Whitney Bailey
Write a story about one of the other sea creatures -- different points of view

What lessons might the fish have at their school? Write a diary entry from the point of view of one of the fish, giving their thoughts about their lessons at school.

Look at the use of speech marks within the story. Can you explain why they are in those places?

Deals with time -- scheduling, create an agenda
This is not as original as duo Donaldson & Schiffer's usually wonderful books; it combines elements of their own previous _Snail and the Whale_ (my very favorite) and _Charlie Cook's Favorite Book_ (from around the same time as this). But it is nevertheless still endearing. I cannot resist books that shamelessly promote the value of story-telling.
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Growing up
I grew up in a tall Victorian London house with my parents, grandmother, aunt, uncle, younger sister Mary and cat Geoffrey (who was really a prince in disguise. Mary and I would argue about which of us would marry him).

Mary and I were always creating imaginary characters and mimicking real ones, and I used to write shows and choreograph ballets for us. A wind-up gramophone wafted out Cho...more
More about Julia Donaldson...
The Gruffalo Room on the Broom The Gruffalo's Child The Snail and the Whale Stick Man

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