Book: Fish is Fish

A fish is a fish, with a tail to swish
And a tadpole can wish to be a fish
But at some point a switch changes tadpole from “fish”
Into a little frog

Poor minnow can wish he wasn’t a fish
Such thoughts for a fish can cause great anguish
Might relish dreams of a whirling dervish
But still he’s not a frog

A lesson ensues in Lionni’s soft hues
It’s wise to eschew what you stand to lose
So don’t get confused. Be smart when you choose.
Embrace your inner frog

Note: Leo Lionni‘s fable is pretty simple – be yourself. But this book is far from simplistic. Lionni worked as an art director (among other things) before becoming a children’s author and illustrator and you can see the thought that has gone into the story’s visual layout.

It’s also fascinating to the sub-lessons that Lionni manages to squeeze into the story. After Frog returns from his time on the land, Fish projects his view of the world onto Frog’s description. Everything – birds, cows, even people – look like fish with various accoutrements.

Individual experiences color your perspective? You don’t say…

Hmmm, maybe Fish is Fish should be required reading for adults.


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