Asho's Reviews > The Rainbow Fish

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
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's review
Aug 29, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: sebastian-s-books, read-but-do-not-own, louisa-s-books
Read on July 22, 2017 , read count: 2

I'm on the fence about this one. The illustrations of the fish with sparkly scales are fun for babies (obviously, as my little one bounced up and down on my lap and made excited noises and wanted to grab every page) but I'm not sure the message is clear enough. Obviously, I think the point of the story is supposed to be about sharing your nice things with others and giving to those less fortunate than yourself rather than trying to hoard all of the good things for yourself and being a greedy jerk. "Share, and don't be greedy." That's a good message, and I think that's what this book was getting at.
However, I find it sort of problematic that the rainbow fish has to take off and give away his scales. As I read it, I found myself feeling like a subtle message of the book is that if you are too attractive nobody will like you unless you somehow make yourself less special-looking. (And that lesson could be extrapolated to other ideas: if you are too smart, nobody will like you unless you dumb yourself down to fit in, if you are too physically fit nobody will want to play with you unless you purposely lose the game sometimes, etc.) I wish the fish was sharing something else that wasn't a part of his identity. Maybe he could have taught the other fish to make their own fancy scales, or helped the other fish find ways in which they are special, too.
I'm probably overthinking this one...

ETA July 2017: My 5-year-old and 2-year-old heard this at a story time today, and I still feel the same way I did about it 5 years ago, perhaps even more so now.
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07/22 marked as: read

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