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Fish is Fish
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Fish is Fish

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  1,459 ratings  ·  125 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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Picture Books With Amazing Art
25th out of 374 books — 145 voters
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6th out of 105 books — 13 voters

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Community Reviews

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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.
Anna Matsuyama
Fish is Fish or Fish, know your place
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
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.
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
Alyssa Roberts
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
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
Hannah Baumgartner
This is a tale about friendship and the depths you might take to fill your imagination. This starts out with a tadpole who turn into a frog and explores what the land has to offer. He is so excited and tells his friend, a fish, about it. The fish wants to follow the frog and explore the land also.

I really enjoyed this book because I have wanted to explore places that I was not able to as a child, so I would use my imagination. Leo Lionni illustrated this book along with writing the text and he u
Kevin Wright
A cute book with complex themes. First, Fish is Fish explains how friends grow apart as they grow up, but how those ties will always remain. Second, the title itself emphasizes the theme of knowing and being true to yourself and following your own path in life. The most endearing part of the book is when the fish imagines the birds and cows and fish that the frog describes to him as strange and wonderful hybrid fish creatures. This shows how we think of things in terms of what we know. Without e ...more
David Kohler
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.
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.
A minnow and a tadpole enjoy carefree days swimming in a pond. They engage in a philosophical discussion as the tadpole begins to change into a frog. After leaving the pond, the frog returns with tales of all the things he has seen in the wider world. The fish, of course, pictures all of these wonders, including birds, cows, and humans as fishlike. Curious about these creatures, he leaps from the pond but ends up unable to move at all. Luckily for him, his frog friend pushes him back into the po ...more
Jan 05, 2014 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
I thought this was a cute story about a friendship between a frog and a fish. When a frog finally gains its four legs, it hops out of water to explore the world outside the pond. The frog returns and tells the fish about all sorts of wonderful animals. The fish can't help but imagine about the wonderful world outside of the pond and tries to leave the pond. However he discovers that he is a fish and must stay in the pond. The illustrations are very creative and show the imagination of the fish a ...more
This book was about a tadpole and a minnow. The tadpole quickly became a frog and explored the world. He came back to the pond and told the fish and he became jealous. He wanted to see the world for himself so he decided to jump out of the water. He couldn't breathe. Luckily the frog was there and pushed him back into the water. The fish realized that was where he was supposed to be. I think children would enjoy reading this book because of the way the fish imagined all of the animals and peopl ...more
Shanna Gonzalez
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
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
Anne Catesby
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
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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
I thoroughly enjoyed the cute and imaginative pictures. This story teaches a very important life lesson: If you pursue your dreams with everything you have, you'll fail, suffer horribly, and be pushed back into your little backwater. My primary complaint would be that the author didn't go far enough to drive his point home. The lonely failure-fish should've been allowed to die.
Fish and tadpole are good friends and do everything together. One day tadpole grows legs and becomes a frog and left the pond. Eventually the frog returned to the pond and told the fish of all his adventures, including all the interesting animals he had encountered. The fish gets curious and tries to go onto the land to see these creatures, but quickly discovers that fish do not belong on land. Luckily his good friend is able to come to the rescue.

I really like Leo Lionni's books for both their
Kelly Tisdale
This book was so interesting because its illustrations. I loved that the water line broke the page up and that the story was written above the water. I thought this made the story seem like you are underwater because you are looking up to read. I also loved the use to colors on the page especially representing the fishes imagination.
Sarah Adamson
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
Joy Colclasure
What a great way to teach children the life cycle of a frog! I am so ashamed to say that I have not read this book for years and forgot what it was about. I am so glad that I read it again and I cannot wait to read it to my children. I absolutly love it! This is a great book about friendship and to just be yourself. I love the part of the book where the frog is telling the fish about everything that he had seen out in the world and the whole time the frog is imagining all of the characters as fi ...more
Katie Roseveare
I love this story. I think it is phenomenal with the pictures showing how everyone views life from their own perspective. Definitely use this with kids to discuss point of view and how we "see the world". Would be great fun to have kids draw pictures viewing the world as a frog or a snake or creature of their choice.
This is a great little book to use when teaching diversity to young children. It features two main characters, a fish and a tadpole who believe they are the same. As time passes, more and more differences become apparent, yet they learn they can still be friends. Moral of the story: Embrace what makes you unique and special! :)
Abbey Pace
This book is definitely a classic. The simple writing style and illustrations were written in such a way that made me want to read more of the children's picture books that were written before my grandparents were even born. The book was halfway falling apart, but that's what gave it character. In this story, a friendship between a tadpole and a minnow blossoms. They suddenly found themselves all grown up, and they each were able to experience life in the ways that they could. It shows the way t ...more
Laura Driskell
This book was not my favorite, but it is a good book for children. The illustrations are not my favorite style but they are original and Leo Lionni succeeds in doing this style of illustrations in the book, and all of his books. It allows his books to stand out, you will see the cover and know that book is written by Leo Lionni. The textures pictures are simplistic for children’s benefit, and like children the fish in the story bases the frogs story from his prior knowledge of what fish look lik ...more
You can't go wrong with Leo Lionni. This is the Easy Reader version of Fish is Fish. At the back of the book there are activities like: fill in the blanks, matching, and what doesn't belong games.
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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
More about Leo Lionni...
A Color of His Own Swimmy Frédéric Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse Inch by Inch

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