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The Fool and the Fish: A Tale from Russia
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The Fool and the Fish: A Tale from Russia

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3.65  ·  Rating details ·  49 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Hardcover, 25 pages
Published September 4th 1990 by Dial Books
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Miriam
Jan 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture, fairy-tale
Familiar and not-favorite folktale of a lazy jerk who happens to catch a magic fish, earning infinite wishes, well-illustrated by the outstanding Spirin.

I do wonder if a line got dropped in one scene -- the Tsarina meets the Fool and falls for him, asking her father to marry them. He does, then puts them in a barrel and throws them in the sea. I get why the Tsar is annoyed with the Fool for disturbing the peace, but why is he so mad at his daughter? Why not just say no? Anyone read another vers
...more
Kathleen
Apparently this is a retelling of a classic Russian folktale about three brothers - 2 were smart and hardworking, but the third brother was a lazy fool. The foolish brother is given the task of fetching water and comes upon a magical fish. The fish tells the fool that if he will throw him back in the water, he'll grant the fool anything he desires. Through a series of events, the fool is introduced to the Tsar, and marries a princess and they live happily ever after.
I don't know how much of a c
...more
Natalie Hendry
Nov 25, 2013 rated it liked it
This story is about three brothers. Two of the brothers were very clever and hardworking, while the third was very lazy. One day the two brothers went to the market and asked the lazy brother to help their wives. The wives told him to get some water and when he did this he caught a fish. The fish was supposed to be magical and give him every wish he asked. He took the fish and kept making wishes, for example to get and chop down wood the fool makes the wish and just like that the wood is chopped ...more
Tara Kollman
Dec 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: folklore
This story is about three brothers. Two of the brothers were very clever and hardworking, while the third was very lazy. One day the two brothers went to the market and asked the lazy brother to help their wives. The wives told him to get some water and when he did this he caught a fish. The fish was supposed to be magical and give him every wish he asked. He took the fish and kept making wishes, for example to get and chop down wood the fool makes the wish and just like that the wood is chopped ...more
Holly
May 12, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: multicultural
I enjoyed the pace and flow of the story and its catchy rhythm and repetitive phrase (“fish, fish, grant my wish”) is attractive to children of all ages. Elegant, detailed, and elaborate illustrations compliment the story. The characters’ clothing and the scenery of Russia is captivating and informative. The only aspect I didn’t like was that even though the boy did not use his wishes for vain purposes (power/money), he is never made to work for what he wants, and hard work is not given any valu ...more
Bri Schupp
Jun 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: edrd
This tale from Russia was an interesting find. The illustrations beautifully portray Russian culture and did so much more than simply illustrate the text. This story goes beyond the typical fairy tale and leaves the reader contemplating and questioning. It does not offer clear cut antagonists and protagonists, and leaves you wondering if you are rooting for or against this lazy fool. This story is not didactic in nature. While a resolution is offered, no clear moral is presented. This would be a ...more
Katelyn Chase
I thought the story was alright. There was a lazy fool who refused to do any work for himself, yet he still received everything he wished simply he caught a magic fish and let it go. I didn't think the book had a very strong message and seemed lazy itself.
Amanda
Dec 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: kid-stuff, folksy, 2011
Great illustrations and a fun fool tale. I like the refrain, Fish, Fish, grant my wish!
Liz
Jan 19, 2011 rated it did not like it
1.5
Miko O.
Jun 03, 2012 rated it did not like it
What a terrible lesson! The guy gets everything he wants by being a lazy asshole.
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See also: А.Н. Афанасьев

Alexander Nikolayevich Afanasyev (Russian: Александр Николаевич Афанасьев) was a Russian folklorist who recorded and published over 600 Russian folktales and fairytales, by far the largest folktale collection by any one man in the world. His first collection was published in eight volumes from 1855–67, earning him the reputation of a Russian counterpart to the Brothers Grim
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More about Alexander Afanasyev...

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