So many fish in the sea…
But obviously The Rainbow Fish takes the cake!
By Hallie McQueeny
It may be true that there are so many fish in the sea but obviously The Rainbow Fish takes the cake! This classic was written and illustrated by Marcus Pfister and originally published in 1992 in Switzerland under the title of Der Regenbrogenfisch. J Alison James is responsible for translating Pfister’s masterpiece into English. The Rainbow Fish received The Christopher Award and The Bologna Book Fair Critici in Erba Prize, and was named an American Booksellers Association ABBY Winner and an IRA-CBC Children’s Choice title.
The book has sold millions of copies across the world inspiring the publication of five additional books: Rainbow Fish to the Rescue, Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale, Rainbow Fish and the Sea Monster’s Cave, Rainbow Fish Finds his Way, and Rainbow Fish Discovers the Deep Sea. The book’s popularity also inspired the adaptation into a television series furthering the characters, stories, morals, and lessons presented in Pfister’s original book.
The beautiful pencil, watercolor and holographic foil pictures will never fail to capture the attention and awe of both children and adults alike. However the book is even better known for its universal lessons in vanity, sharing, individuality, acceptance and the best way to achieve happiness.
The beautiful illustrations and the important life lessons provide the springboard for classroom extension and expansion. A few of my favorite activities included one where the children retold the story by sharing shiny clothespin scales with their classmates. Another activitiy asked the students to apply the story to their life by writing the object which they would struggle to give up or share on the back of a shiny scale.
While Marcus Pfister teaches children to be unselfish, I’m going to take exception here in selfishly asserting that every student should read this book. Below I have attached some links to ideas for classroom activities but fortunately the themes of this book are so universal that many activities would be a good fit!