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The Story of Fish and Snail
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The Story of Fish and Snail

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,530 Ratings  ·  227 Reviews
Every day, Snail waits for Fish to come home with a new story.

Today, Fish's story (about pirates!) is too grand to simply be told: Fish wants to show Snail. But that would mean leaving the familiar world of their book—a scary prospect for Snail, who would rather stay safely at home and pretend to be kittens. Fish scoffs that cats are boring; Snail snaps back. Is this book
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published June 13th 2013 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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Rating details
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May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow, do I LOVE this book.

I'm a children's librarian and recently used this for a story time (ages 3-5). This is one of the most unique kids picture books I've read in a long time. It's funny, charming and tells the story of a special friendship between Snail and Fish.

I won't go into detail here, because you have to read it for yourself. Let's just say I've never read a kids picture book like this one. The parents and grandparents that attended my story time, were in agreement, that this was an
Alex (not a dude) Baugh
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: randomly-reading
Everyday, fish comes back to snail to tell him new stories he has found in other books besides theirs. But then one day, fish tells snail that he must come with him, that he has found another book so good he wants to show it to snail, not just tell him. But snail doesn't want to leave the book he's in.

Fish and snail exchange angry words, but when snail won't budge, fish takes a dive into the other book. But without fish, snail asks himself, how can we be The Story of Fish & Snail?

Looking ov
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Let me start off my review with this-and then get into my thoughts on the work. I'm not quite certain that the idea these 2 characters who live in a book and can potentially leave the book for another book will sink in for younger children, so I would use this book for kids age 4 or older. I know on first run through the F&G, I had to go back a page a few times, and then I went "A-Ha. Clever" and really, it is VERY CLEVER! (Maybe for others it's obvious right away, but consider that I'm a sl ...more
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Right from the title page you dive into this book with glee! On top of a tall stack of books (the top one open like an invitation), a perky, curious, golden fish accepts the invitation and dives right in. Water splashes up into the air creating a wonderful, whimsical world of pure magic and fun. This book is a remarkable underwater macrocosm where Snail waits patiently for his friend Fish to come and tell him a story. Fish is so excited (about Pirates) and says to Snail that today he cannot tell ...more
Stephanie Croaning
Jul 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This is a delightful book on many levels! The characters of Fish and Snail are incredibly adorable, and will appeal to children of all ages, even the adult ones. The storyline deals with friendship, compromise, and stepping out of your comfort zone to experience new things. But the most amazing part of this book are the illustrations.

In her two previous books, Scribble and Blue Chicken, Deborah Freedman experimented with her characters interacting with the physical page, and that becomes the sto
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Please add this to your books about friendship, because it is worth reading aloud and talking about with children. Having a friend can be wonderful, but when that friend chooses to do something new, and you want things to stay the same, sometimes friendships can fade away. Or sometimes, because of the friend, you make a leap and try something new! This is the story of fish & snail, and a beautifully illustrated one, too. Since it involves stories, Deborah Freedman has cleverly included a bo ...more
Fish and Snail live inside a book. When fish wants to venture outside his own book to find adventure elsewhere, Snail is having none of that. Fighting ensues and well, you'll just have to read the rest to find out the result.

I love the story, but I especially love the endearing illustrations and the unique perspective Freedman uses to show that Fish and snail are inside a book. Yet another Caldecott contender in my eyes.
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fish is an extrovert and snail is an introvert. Fish likes to explore other books and comes back every day to tell snail about his adventures. Fish decides that snail needs to come with him on an adventure, but snail is not happy about that idea. They, like many friends, have a fight and storm off. The ending will leave you cheering and your child wanting to read it again. Great for kids who are introverts and extroverts alike.
Becky Loader
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved the illustrations! The artist used every inch of the paper to convey another dimension outside the book-within-a-book. Lovely story.
Baby Bookworm
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello, friends! Our book today is The Story Of Fish And Snail by Deborah Freedman, a lovely tale about friendship and compromise between two unusual friends.

Fish and Snail live together in their book, and are the best of friends. Every day, Fish goes out to explore the other books, but Snail prefers to wait where it’s safe and quiet until Fish comes home with stories to share. One day, Fish com
Linda Gill
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This talented woman wrote and illustrated this children's book of few words yet fills the pages with meaning that splashes deep. This story is held together by a friendship, but takes us through changes with unexpected outcomes. Books and stories are part of this wonderful tale, too, which makes it even more fun for this retired librarian/school teacher.

The artwork makes the tale come alive, filling the reader's mind with emotions of these two friends and corners to be turned where change can l
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This is the story of Fish and Snail who were great friends. Every day, Snail would wait for Fish to return with a new story. This time, Fish returned with a great story, one so wonderful that Fish wanted to show Snail instead of tell about it. But Snail doesn’t want to leave the book they are in. Snail wants to stay right there and play kittens instead of pirates. The two start to argue and finally Fish declares that it is THE END and leaves the book. Snail was so sad. This was not the way the s ...more
Jacob Combs
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love The Story of Fish and Snail. It's visually stunning, with a heartwarming story and a fantastic read aloud flow. Deborah Freedman has dazzled us once again with another book that delivers not only an engaging, well written story, but a design that is unique and breathtaking.

Fish and Snail live in a book. One day, Fish returns to the book with a new story that he wants to show Snail. This new story is filled with adventure and excitement, but Snail doesn't want to go and see it. He wants t
I really loved this story! The illustrations were most excellent and the story to accompany them was really great, too. :)

This was a book within a book, as Snail and Fish are book characters in the story. (view spoiler)
Mary Ann
Jul 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Each day, Snail waits for Fish to come home with a new story. Theirs is a friendship of opposites. Snail wants to sit at home and listen to stories of princesses or kittens; Fish dreams of adventures, pirates and secret treasures. Readers can guess from the title page, where a fish dramatically splashes into the pages of an open book sitting atop a tall stack of closed books, that this will be a story with plenty of meta elements in it, playing on the idea of a book-within-a-book. Trouble brews ...more
McCall Donnelly
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Story of Fish and Snail begins with Snail awaiting Fish's arrival with a new, exciting story. Fish is so thrilled about his recent adventure that he wants Snail to experience it with him. Unfortunately Snail is happy where he is and does not want to leave. Fish can't imagine staying in their usual book after what he has just encountered, a whole ocean full of fun and excitement! Him and Snail get in an argument and Snail finds himself alone while fish swims into his new book. Without Fish, S ...more
Ying Lee
Genre: Postmodern
Copyright: 2013

Have you ever seen a fish jumping out of a page or a snail rolling from one book to another? It is not about magic; it is about imagination. Another book from Deborah Freedman who tries to push readers beyond their imaginative limits! Two good friends, Fish and Snail, reside in a book, and every day Snail is waiting for Fish to come back and tell a new story. However, it happens one day when Fish encourages Snail to go on an adventure to another book, which is rej
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book that I read by Deborah Freedman, who is both the author and illustrator, and I absolutely loved it! The narrative and the illustrations were equally stunning and captivating. I excitedly logged on to our public libraries website to order her other work.

The Story of Fish and Snail is a unique adventure and shows that sometimes to be a good friend you have to give the occasional “little push.” Snail is a recluse that holds fast to the safety of is home. His greatest adventu
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book might need a little explaining to your young dreamers, but then again, it might be interesting to hear their take on Fish & Snail.

Living together in a book, Fish is full of adventure and Snail likes the slower pace, the pace that involves staying in one place and sharing stories with princesses and kittens. Fish was cut out for more and when he finds a new book to be part of, a book with pirates, he tries to convince his best friend to join him.

This is where you can explain to you
Sep 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
This story follows two friends, a snail and a fish who live inside a book. While snail is content to stay in their book and play, fish wants to travel to all the other books. The pair embarks on a journey of friendship and adventure, and the illustrations are stunning! I've chosen The Story of Fish and Snail as my candidate for the 2014 Caldecott award for many reasons. For one, the illustrations are beautiful. Each page is unique and just as sweet and wonderful as the story. I also loved this b ...more
Chio Duran
Jun 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I won this through Goodreads First Reads. I just wanted to thank the author for signing the book ( The signature was adorable ). Now for the review:

This story is about two little book characters, snail and fish. They have a little misunderstanding and, consequently, go their separate ways. This little story handles the subject of friendship, adventure, and loyalty to being who you are! I believe the message in this book can inspire children and adults alike.(view spoiler)
May 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Not only is it a sweet story about friendship and finding courage to step out of one's comfort zone for the sake of it, but the illustrations are so vivid. Fish and Snail live in a book, but Fish loves to visit other books. When Fish comes back from his latest jaunt he wants Snail to come with him on the next adventure. Snail refuses and the friends have a fight. Snail panics after Fish jumps into another book and has to decide if he values his friend enough to face his fears. ...more
Dec 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: t-l-544
Genre: postmodern
Copyright: 2013

Two best friends, fish and snail are living in the same book. The snail is always waiting fish to tell him story. One day, the fish invites the snail to leave the book and go to the other book for a new story. However, the snail doe not want to leave and just want to stay at the book they live. They has a big argument about whether to travel to the other book. The argument is broken, and the fish jumps to the other book. The snail does not want to be alone so he
Chelsie Abra
Aug 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Fish's story is too elaborate to be told and Fish wants to show Snail. But, that would mean that Snail would have to leave his comfort zone - which is a scary thought for Snail. He'd rather stay in his familiar and safe environment and pretend to be kittens. But, Fish tries to persuade Snail and they start an argument. Will they still be friends at the end?

Fish and Snail are best friends and sometimes friends have arguments. The colourful drawings make this book such at treat to read. The use of
Aug 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Oh Snail!!! So many of us understand your hesitancy and fear to be a part of a different story. We too have been egged on by friends like Fish to try something new. We may have even had our friends feel frustrated with us when our fears lead to stubbornness and we just won't move to another place. I would love to use this book to encourage my 1st-2nd graders who may be in a "genre rut" to try something new like Snail did. Sure, Snail tried a new story by accident, but that didn't mean his enjoym ...more
This story was so adorable! :) Snail is the homebody that wants to stay in his "story" and not venture outside. Fish always comes back with a story for Snail, but today Fish wants to "show" Snail what he's seen. They have a teensy fight and Fish leaves. Will Snail venture into the world that has the ocean, pirates and adventures? You betcha!! Everything is right in their world and they make up. The illustrations are simply sensational, you can literally see the emotions on the faces of Fish and ...more
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fish and Snail are characters that represent a typical preK-2 friendship. Deborah Freedman does a great job of depicting Fish as the outgoing, spontaneous adventurous friend and Snail as the contemplative, cautious, routine-loving friend. When Fish asks Snail to play something new, Snail gets upset (like a typical preK- 2 child) and realizes he needs to step out of his comfort zone. I would recommend this book for the student who is having troubles successfully navigating friendships and need t ...more
:Donna Marie
THE STORY OF FISH AND SNAIL is a must-read charmer! Deborah Freedman blends gorgeous illustrations with a story that encourages being "brave" in such an appealing and effective way, it is sure to hit home with any young (or old) person who reads it. As was the author's intent, this story has the power to nudge reluctant ones to risk leaving their comfort zones.

In my opinion, The Story of Fish and Snail will join the ranks of inspirational picture books the likes of The Dot by Peter H. Reynold
Jul 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up because of the cover art, then I noticed the author and I hoped it would be as interesting and beautiful as her Blue Chicken. It was! I am exploring 2015 Caldecott contenders, and even though I don't think this is eligible for 2015 I am glad to have found it! Fish and Snail are friends but only Fish is excited to explore beyond their current home... a book. When Fish chooses to move on without Snail the book gets interesting!! I will use it for teaching and can't wait to ge ...more
I LOVED this book! When Fish and Snail are yelling at each other (after Fish tries to convince timid Snail to join him on his story adventures and Snail refuses), then Fish "stomping" off anyway, then feeling Snail feeling lonely and sorry, then both forgiving each other, it reminds me of my childhood best friend and me. What a great testimony to friendship and forgiveness. The illustrations are glorious. I'd love to read this at the beginning of my fear and conflict unit! Yay, Deborah Freedman!
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Once upon a time, I was an architect. But now I'd much rather build worlds in books — picture books like Scribble , Blue Chicken , The Story of Fish & Snail , and By Mouse & Frog . My most recent books are Shy and This House, Once .

I love reading books; I hate rating them! Let's just say that if I didn't like a book, it isn't here at all.

Twitter: @Deb
More about Deborah Freedman