Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale

Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale

4.0 3
by Marcus Pfister Herbert

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Now Rainbow Fish’s third exciting adventure is available in a mini book and audio cassette package to delight his legion of fans. It’s a whale of a tale in which a terrible misunderstanding escalates, putting Rainbow Fish and his friends in great danger, and Rainbow Fish must try to make peace with a big blue whale to save them all from disaster.


Now Rainbow Fish’s third exciting adventure is available in a mini book and audio cassette package to delight his legion of fans. It’s a whale of a tale in which a terrible misunderstanding escalates, putting Rainbow Fish and his friends in great danger, and Rainbow Fish must try to make peace with a big blue whale to save them all from disaster.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Anyone familiar with Marcus Pfister's "Rainbow Fish" series knows that it is the magically reflecting silver fish scales of Rainbow Fish and his friends that first attract the eyes and fingers of young readers. The artwork in this board book adaptation provides similar visual and tactile stimulation. In this abbreviated retelling, Rainbow Fish and his friends happily eat krill along the reef until, one day, a gentle whale begins eating beside them. Because the whale stares at them, they panic, thinking the whale might eat them as well. As Rainbow Fish and his friends swim away, the whale feels hurt, and then he grows angry. He lashes at the little fish with his giant tail and, doing so, drives the fish and the krill away from the reef. In the end, which comes quickly in this small, six page book, Rainbow Fish approaches the whale to say they are sorry. The whale admits that he had merely been staring "because your shiny scales are so pretty." Protected by their new friend, Rainbow Fish and his friends swim off to find a new home. Soon, they forget their "terrible fight," and we do too, fascinated as we are by the plump, pastel fish, with their shiny silver scales. The eye-catching illustrations will encourage babies to turn the pages and the simple action will allow caregivers to paraphrase and amplify the retelling. However, toddlers will not understand the story as it is presented in this format. By the time they do understand this tale of misunderstanding and forgiveness, they will be old enough to look at and listen to the original version. 2001 (orig. 1998), North-South Books, $9.95. Ages 1 to 3. Reviewer: Jeanne Whitehouse
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-The winsome and sensible fish who stole preschoolers' hearts in Rainbow Fish (1992) and Rainbow Fish to the Rescue (1995, both North-South) has returned. In this story, Rainbow Fish and his friends must share their food and their space with a gentle old whale who comes to their reef. The fish with the jagged scales complains that the blue whale is watching them, and soon everyone views the large mammal as an enemy. After a skirmish in which the whale scares all of the little fish into a cave, Rainbow Fish realizes that it is up to him to approach the larger animal and make peace. A heart-to-heart talk between the two reveals that the whale watched the fish only because he admired their beauty. Indeed, the holographic silver foil applied to the fins and scales of these expressive and colorfully illustrated fish is eye-catching. The glittering watercolor artwork of this book has the same child appeal of its popular predecessors. However, the story is thin, possessing more adjectives than action. Its moral theme of tolerance and communication, while admirable, can be found in at least a dozen better books. This one is for those already enamored of Rainbow Fish. It is not likely to win new fans.-Jackie Hechtkopf, Talent House School, Fairfax, VA
Welcome back to Rainbow Fish! It's amazing how a few strips of tinfoil and a vividly colorful imagination can confer longevity upon an imaginary creature. Marcus Pfister's glittering little underwater friend swims again in the delightful Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale. This time Rainbow Fish and his schoolmates, all of whom now sport sparkling scales, are admired by a visiting whale. Unfortunately, they mistake his intentions and go into hiding. It's all a mistake, however, and at the end the whale and his new pals swim happily of into the future-and probably the next book.
Kirkus Reviews
Pfister's winking do-gooder returns; Rainbow Fish and his pals find their krill-eating grounds mooched upon by a huge blue whale. The whale appears to mean no harm, and when the "fish with the ragged fins" calls him a "wicked whale," his feelings are hurt. Accordingly, he menaces the school until Rainbow Fish enters into peace talks. Thereupon the scales are smoothed, the blowholes quieted, and the sea creatures return to a state of bliss: "It was a wonderful life." It's almost painfully formulaic, but some children will never get enough of Rainbow Fish, who has now been promoted to ambassador of peace of the pelagic domain. (Picture book. 5-8)

Product Details

North-South Books, Inc.
Publication date:
Rainbow Fish Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 11.58(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
4 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Marcus Pfister is the author of the phenomenally successful Rainbow Fish series, as well as many other books for children. He has worked as a graphic artist, a sculptor, a painter, and a photographer as well as a children's book creator. Pfister lives with his family in Berne, Switzerland.

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Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My name is Taylor and I am in second grade. I liked it when the rainbow fish and the whale became friends. I also like when the rainbow fish told the whale his feelings. Thats all! I hope you enjoy the book too!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale is the third in the Rainbow Fish series. In the first book, Rainbow Fish has to learn to share his glittering scales in order to be accepted. In the second book, Rainbow Fish to the Rescue, Rainbow Fish learns to help those in need, even if they are different. Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale builds on the theme of Rainbow Fish to the Rescue . . . except by exploring differences on a larger scale. The book features the same beautiful illustrations and glittering highlights that made the first two books so much fun to look at. Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale is based on a misunderstanding. The fish and the whale are both attracted by the krill (small shrimp-like creatures) that live near the reef. The whale also enjoys seeing the sparkling highlights on the fish. One of the fish develops a fear of the whale. When the whale comes close one day, the jagged fin fish says, 'Look out! . . . The wicked whale is after us!' The whale's feelings are hurt, and the whale becomes angry. The whale chases the fish into a cavern and waves its tail so violently that the krill are dispersed. Soon, whale and fish are hungry. Rainbow fish overcomes his fear. 'We must make peace with the whale.' 'Please let's talk.' 'This fight was all a big mistake. It drove off the krill and now we're all hungry.' The whale makes peace. 'Come now! said the whale.' 'Let's find new hunting grounds.' 'And before long, none of them could remember what the terrible fight had been about.' The story is a good one to read to both older and younger siblings. For the older ones, it shows the importance of not being threatening. For the younger ones, the lesson is to assume that size does not mean menace . . . even when it feels intimidating. For both children, the book explores that words can hurt, and have unpleasant consequences. The benefits of being considerate and sharing are also displayed. For me, this book contained all of the best elements of the first two books while reminding the reader of them by the visual cues of shared sparkles on all but the striped fish. Children who are afraid of anger will probably want to avoid this book, although most should be fine with it by the recommended ages of 5 and higher. I suspect that most 4 year olds would love it. Where else do large and small have to cooperate? You might want to share those examples with your child in order to create a more complementary view of how the world can work. Seek ways to build strengths from differences! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution
Guest More than 1 year ago
Children will love the colors and illustration. However, there are some words a second grader will not understand such as, (sinister, krill). This book in my nieces school is classified as a second grade level.