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Fish is Fish

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  2,127 Ratings  ·  163 Reviews
Two best friends, a minnow and a tadpole, are practically inseparable until the tadpole grows legs and decides to explore the world beyond the pond. When the tadpole, now a frog, returns to tell his friend of the extraordinary things he’s seen, the minnow, now a fish, tries to follow in his footsteps, but quickly finds that land is not what he expected. Friendship truly sa ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published February 12th 1974 by Dragonfly Books (first published 1970)
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Jan 15, 2010 Esmoi rated it liked it
This is a cute little book. My only complaint is that it might be difficult for children to discern what the "moral" of the story is. I believe the author meant for it to be something along the lines of "do what you excel at rather than trying to be what you're not" but this could easily be misinterpreted as "don't pursue your dreams or you might die." Heh.
Mar 01, 2010 Tricia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids, plus-1, 10-02-feb
I remember loving this book (it survived many culls of books over the years), and looking at it now, the illustrations are beautiful and textured, the imaginative glimpses of what fish imagines the world to be like fun and whimsical. But the underlying story is disappointing. The moral seems very much that you should stick to your pond and to what you know - that the wider world is not for fish, only frogs. The fish's desperate struggle for breath and his realisation that he is not allowed to pa ...more
Anna Kļaviņa
Dec 29, 2014 Anna Kļaviņa rated it did not like it
Fish is Fish or Fish, know your place
May 28, 2013 Lindsay rated it did not like it
Shelves: preschool, fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 01, 2014 Gina rated it really liked it
As a literature teacher, it's important to always remember that a student doesn't always have the background knowledge to fully understand concepts and in this case, frame of reference is extremely important. The book was recommended by my principal who is a former kindergarten teacher and I enjoyed it with my 10 year old.
Aug 18, 2008 jacky rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
My professor in my cultural diversity class read this to us in class. He used it to show us how we look at different cultures through the lenses of our own, which impacts how much we understand.
Amber Goebel
Feb 07, 2017 Amber Goebel rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidlit
I love this tale of a fish and a tadpole who start life together in a pond. When tadpole becomes a frog and moves onto a new life on land, fish is left alone until one day when the frog jumps in the pond for a visit. He tells fish all about life on land, about birds, cows, and people. But, fish imagines the birds, cows, and people in his own image because that is all he has ever known. He is overcome with thoughts about the world outside of his pond and finally decides to jump out and see it for ...more
Sarah Adamson
Jun 11, 2014 Sarah Adamson rated it did not like it
I am grateful to the person who bought this for us and there are beautiful illustrations. I appreciate the fish using his imagination to create fish-birds etc which was beautiful and fun to look at. Whilst reviewers seem to disagree over the author's intent, I am one of those who feel this book fails to be inspirational to children.
A fish is a fish. Moral - stay in your small world and make the most of it. Whilst this is true, children reading this level of book shouldn't be told that their smal
Caryn Caldwell
Dec 03, 2015 Caryn Caldwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: early-readers
Fish and Tadpole are best friends, but when Tadpole becomes a frog and goes to shore, Fish is left alone. Ever the faithful friend, the frog happily returns to regale Fish with stories all about life on land. The intrigued Fish is determined to go to shore, too. Unfortunately, it turns out fish simply aren't meant to be out of water. This reprint of the 1970 tale is formatted for young readers.

This is a lovely story of friendship and making the best of a situation. I particularly enjoyed the par
David Kohler
Apr 07, 2011 David Kohler rated it it was amazing
A story that tells grown-ups about how people learn. I've used it to illustrate how wrong the "peoples are blank slate" myth in education; instead, people come with their own understanding and misconceptions which they use when feeding new information. In the end, this is a book about constructivism.
Mijoo Jeon
Oct 07, 2016 Mijoo Jeon rated it it was ok
우물 안 개구리로 살아야하는거야?흙수저는 흙수저로 계급을 유지하라
Sep 21, 2008 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading to their children
A sweet story about the world outside of our own pond. It's a bit philosophical and speaks to being content with your own life. Our girls really enjoyed this story.
Mar 15, 2016 Cynthia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A reread for me in preparation for a read-aloud.
Andria Davis
Jun 07, 2017 Andria Davis rated it liked it
This is a book about a tadpole that turns into a frog and gets to explore the world. His friend the fish feels bad because he is not able to explore the world the same way as the frog. He tries to jump out of the water to see what the frog sees but needs to get right back in the pond because he cannot breathe. Once he gets back in the water, he sees that the world he can see is the most beautiful world for him.

I gave this book three stars because I feel the story line was very basic and they cou
May 20, 2017 Jessica rated it liked it
This is exactly how I chose to use this book. I can easily see how others are disappointed in the perceived "Know your place" moral some are experiencing when they read the book, but I point out instead the confusion the fish has in understanding frog's descriptions (because he's a fish!). And sometimes when misunderstandings happen, it's because people actually think differently as well or have had different experiences. Fish imagines fish-birds, fish-cows, and fish-people. My students find the ...more
Alexandria Duell
Jun 15, 2017 Alexandria Duell rated it really liked it
This is a great topic starter for science in elementary school or even a concept overview in writing; how one's perspective may be different based upon where they have been and seen in the world. There are numerous ways to use this book in a classroom!
Lindsey Duncan
This book tells a about a fish who wants to see the world like his friend frog. I think this book is great to show we don't have to be like our friends.
Camila Bueso
Mar 17, 2016 Camila Bueso rated it really liked it
The minnow and the tadpole were best friends they were inseparable. One day the tadpole started growing into a fog, he started growing legs. However the minnow didn’t change, he constantly asked the tadpole why he was not changing. The tadpole tried to explain that he was a fish and he wouldn’t develop any legs. When the frog was fully developed he jumped out of the pond and into the land to explore new things. Many days passed and the minnow grew bigger and bigger. One day, the frog returned to ...more
Breanna Shofner
Sep 17, 2016 Breanna Shofner rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a story about two aquatic animals and the adventures they share.

Fish is Fish is a tale about the friendship between a tadpole and a fish. The fish starts out as a small minnow living in the water. He soon befriends a tadpole and is astonished when the tadpole starts to grow and change. The tadpole becomes a frog and ventures onto land. The fish is curious too about land and all that it entails. He tries to make it onto land but almost loses his life in the process. The frog helps by resc
Apr 26, 2015 Xiaoting rated it it was amazing
Fish to Fish

I have to say that this is a really good book for children and adults. This is a story about two friends, a tadpole and a fish. They love in a pond until the tadpole becomes a frog and leaves. He brings back fantastic descriptions of the outside world and the fish tries to explore this other wolf for himself. The fish also want to leave the pond to see outside world. However, he finds out that he cannot breathe outside the water and is saved by the frog.

I think the front cover is ver
Anne Catesby
Oct 24, 2012 Anne Catesby rated it really liked it
Fish is Fish by Leo Lonni is story about change and the adjustments that must be made during times of change. A little minnow and a tadpole who has been by one another sides since birth are now experiencing a great change when the tadpole beings to turn into a frog. This comes as a surprise to the minnow when the tadpole turns into a frog and he continues to stay a minnow. The frog is able to go onto land and explore the world outside of the pond. However, when the minnow decides one day that he ...more
Oct 30, 2013 Jazmin rated it it was amazing
Fish is Fish is a classic picture book written and illustrated by Leo Lionni in 1970, and renewed in 1998. It makes a wonderful read aloud due to the minimal text and large illustrations. Readers can enjoy this book on their own as well as with a group, from third grade and up.
The story is about a frog and a fish that grew up together. The fish saw early on that the tadpole would change as he grew to be a frog, and the fish was still a fish. The frog eventually leaves the pond and leaves the f
Thomas S.
Nov 08, 2016 Thomas S. rated it really liked it
Summary: A minnow and a tadpole were best friends, and they played with each other every day. One day, the tadpole had grown two legs and he told the minnow he was a frog. The minnow did not believe this, because the tadpole had lived in the water all its life so the minnow thought that the tadpole had to be a fish. But when the tadpole had fully grown into a frog, it crawled onto land and left the minnow all alone. But after a long time, the frog came back and told the minnow about birds, cows, ...more
Jessica Vanhemel
The illustrations in this book are great, it was almost looks like they are textured and really would jump off of the pages. The illustrations go along way to help tell the story, the story and illustrations go hand in hand. One would not work well without the other, the pictures really help the reader visualize what is happening in the story.

This is the story of a fish and a tadpole, they were good friends. Slowly tadpole begins to change into a frog, which makes fish upset because frog can le
Apr 23, 2014 Ashlea rated it really liked it
Truly enjoyed this book. Once again it is a book about being okay with who you are and the world you live it. In the beginning of the story the minnow and tadpole are great friends but as they grow into a frog and fish the fish doesn't understand how you can change from one thing to the other. Eventually once the minnow is a full grown fish and the tadpole is a frog they begin to live separate lives, one on land and the other in the water. The frog goes on an adventure through out the world but ...more
Emily Egbers
Mar 07, 2016 Emily Egbers rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic
The book Fish is Fish, is a classic story of friendship between a fish and tadpole. The fish began to realize that his friend was changing and wondered why he was staying the same. The two friends argued about the change until the tadpole turned into a frog and left the pond. They began to live different lives, one on land and the other in the water. The frog left and went on an adventure throughout the world and the fish didn't understand where his friend has gone to. However, the frog came bac ...more
Shanna Gonzalez
Aug 04, 2009 Shanna Gonzalez rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-04-08
A baby fish and a tadpole in a pond become friends. When the tadpole grows into a frog, he leaves the water to explore the land above. Upon hearing from his friend about this wondrous world, the fish decides to go see it. But he leaves the water at his peril, only to be rescued just in time by the frog.

This is not a moralistic story, but it lays some groundwork for an understanding of what constitutes truth. This especially relates to the postmodern idea that spiritual (unseen) reality is whatev
Veronica Duarte
Feb 22, 2016 Veronica Duarte rated it really liked it
Fish is Fish
By:Leo Lionni

When picking this book out, I thought it was going to be a boring picturebook, but skimming through it I found out that it was adorable.

The cover of the book has the orientation of portrait and has illustrations that are done in watercolor and colored pencil. On the cover the reader sees a tiny fish with a thought bubble with something that looks like a colorful flying fish. The title page has illustrations that are continuous from one page to the other. Throughout the
Paul Large
Oct 14, 2016 Paul Large rated it really liked it
This is a great book about friends and how different people have different characteristics. This could be read to a younger age level to be able to show how even though you might want to be someone else, it is important to be yourself first. When the tadpole turned into a frog, he was able to go out and explore the world, but the fish got jealous because he also wanted to explore the world. But everyone has their own world and their own view on the world. I liked the book because it showed how f ...more
Alyssa Roberts
Nov 17, 2014 Alyssa Roberts rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
This book is about a fish who is very curious about what happens on land, but since he's a fish, he can only wonder. He becomes friends with a tadpole, who he thinks is a fish. The fish tries to go on land to explore and almost dies! But tadpole saves him. So one day when the fish realizes his friend is changing into a frog, he doesn't want to believe it. The frog comes back to the pond after a little while to tell the fish about what he's seen. The frog tells him about all the cows, birds, and ...more
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Leo Lionni wrote and illustrated more than 40 highly acclaimed children's books. He received the 1984 American Institute of Graphic Arts Gold Medal and was a four-time Caldecott Honor Winner--for Inch by Inch, Frederick, Swimmy, and Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse. Leo Lionni died in October of 1999 at his home in Tuscany, Italy, at the age of 89.

Leo Lionni has gained international renown for his
More about Leo Lionni...

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