Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Rainbow Fish, by Marcus Pfister {1992}


When The Rainbow Fish was translated into English in the early 90's, I had already moved onto chapter books. My younger sister and brother, on the other hand, loved it at the time and still think fondly on it as a favorite. They handed it down to my little girl the last time we were all together, and it is a borderline obsession in our home now. S has memorized so many of the little speeches, and she can be often heard spouting them off as she plays with her little dolls and animals.

Plot. The most beautiful fish in the ocean dazzles everyone with his shiny, silvery scales. When he snobbishly turns down a little fish who asks for one, he finds out how isolating life can be for a fish who won't share. With help from a wise octopus, he eventually finds friendship and happiness in giving away his most prized possessions.

Author. Marcus Pfister is Swiss, so the book was translated into English by J. Allison James.

Thematic Elements. Pride, selfishness, vanity, kindness, friendship, and the joy of sharing all play big roles in this tale. You could definitely have some deep conversations with your child after reading it together! One of my takeaways from reading Rachel Jankovic's Loving the Little Years was the power of story in helping your children to understand important character issues. Sometimes a good story accomplishes more than any conversation or lecture ever could. When S struggles with sharing nowadays, a gentle reminder of the Rainbow Fish usually helps to get her back on track.

Educational Opportunities. Shades of colors- the Rainbow fish's scales are every shade of blue, green and purple {art}. Anatomy of a fish (fins, scales, etc.) and an octopus (tentacles, ink dispelling abilities, etc.) {science}. The book is chock full of great new vocab words to explain to your child: emerged, wavered, peculiar, etc. {English}.



Activities.
  • I drew a simple fish outline for S and handed her crayons in different shades of blue, green and purple. After coloring, we modpodged craft jewels (I got a big tub of them from Wal Mart) onto our Rainbow fish for the scales. 
  • Act out the story with friends. Pick something to represent the scales (a snack maybe?) and have the kids take turns handing them out to their friends. 
  • Color your Rainbow Fish by number with this free printable
  • Cut out shiny scales and discuss with your kids what they can share, writing it on the back of the scale (as this blogger shared). 
  • Practice fine motor skills by having your child place sticker scales on their fish
  • Cut and paste to label the parts of a fish with this free printable
  • Make shiny fish scales by stamping with celery sticks
  • A printable Rainbow Fish for your kids to color. 
  • Another coloring page from the story. 
Other Resources.

Be sure to also check out... 
The entire Rainbow Fish series by the same author, if your kid gets really attached to the Rainbow Fish.


Looking for more great books to read with your preschooler? Check out the rest of this 31 Days series here!

Some of the links above are affiliate links- which means that if you make a purchase through them, I receive a small profit at no extra charge to you. But you should know that I am an avid believer in reading for free through both local and church libraries ;). Thanks for supporting The Purposeful Wife!

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