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*Fish is Fish* by Leo Lionni
Also by Leo Lionni:

A Color of His Own (Spanish-English bilingual edition)

Little Blue and Little Yellow [board book]

Six Crows

Little Blue and Little Yellow (50th Anniversary Edition)


Nicolas, Where Have You Gone?

Tico and the Golden Wings


Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse
Fish is Fish
by Leo Lionni
Ages 4-8 40 pages Knopf January 2005 Hardcover    

Another lovely Leo Lionni book with a lesson for children to learn, Fish is Fish is the story of a tadpole and minnow who are friends in the pond. As the tadpole begins to grow legs, the fish questions it and the tadpole says itís because heís a frog. The fish doesnít understand why he isnít changing; the frog says itís because ďfish is fish.Ē

When the tadpole becomes a full-sized frog, he leaps up onto the bank and is gone for a long while. The fish misses him and wonders where he went. The frog returns and tells the fish about all the wondrous things he has seen while hopping around in the great big world. He describes the birds with two feet and colorful wings, the cows with four legs, and even people.

Poor fish is so excited to hear but just canít imagine what all these things must really look like. When frog leaves again for a while, fish finally lets his curiosity get the best of him: he takes a giant leap and lands on the bank. He gasps as he realizes he canít breathe if he isnít in the water. Who should appear but his old friend the frog, who pushes him back into the water and jumps in to make sure heís okay. The fish takes a minute to get water back through his gills so he can breathe then tells the frog what happened. At that point, he realizes that ďfish is fish,Ē and he needs to stay where he was meant to be.

Once again in the tradition of fables, Lionni tells an exciting story for children while teaching a lesson: be happy with what you have and who you are. His illustrations are bright and beautiful, especially as the frog describes the wonders heís seen and the fish imagines it in his head. This is a good story for this age group - even the small scare when the fish lands on the bank is not objectionable or scary. Strongly recommended for ages 4-8.

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  Karen D. Haney/2009 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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