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Fish Is Fish

Fish Is Fish

5.0 4
by Leo Lionni

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A minnow wants to follow his tadpole friend—who becomes a frog—onto land.


A minnow wants to follow his tadpole friend—who becomes a frog—onto land.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Leo Lionni's Fish Is Fish (1970) brings back the tale of a friendship between a tadpole and minnow, and the changes wrought when the now-fully-fledged frog tries to describe the wonders above ground to his finned friend. Lionni's palette, as iridescent as the scales of a minnow gleaming in the sun, is as captivating as ever. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
First published in 1970, this classic tale focuses on a very special friendship between a frog and a fish. In this modern fable, a tadpole and young minnow live and play happily in a small pond. Things are wonderful until one day when the tadpole notices that his body is changing—first he grows two back legs, then his tail shortens and soon he grows two small front legs. Realizing that he is a frog, he ventures onto dry land to explore the world beyond the grassy hill. After several weeks of exploration, he jumps back into the water and regales his fish friend with stories of his amazing findings. He describes beautiful birds in flight, unusual grazing cows and interesting animals called people. When the frog departs once again, the fish is left with these remarkable images, and for weeks he does nothing but dream of these wonders. Eventually his excitement gets the best of him, and he decides to see this enchanting world for himself. He musters enough energy to jump out of the water onto the bank, but it does not take long for him to realize that he has made a terrible mistake. Luckily, the frog is nearby and quickly returns the fish to the safety of the pond's soothing waters. After catching his breath, the fish realizes that his underwater world is the most beautiful place in the world, and he decides to be happy with his own familiar surroundings. Children will enjoy Lionni's superb storytelling ability, as well as his amusing, colorful illustrations. Even after thirty-five years, this old favorite will continue to entertain readers of all ages. This wonderful book is a must-have for any home, school or library collection. 2005 (orig.1970), Alfred A. Knopf, Ages 4 to 8.
—Debra Briatico
From the Publisher
“With his accustomed subtle interplay of graphic wit, clear language, and plain thinking, Lionni wisely proves that a minnow’s grasp should not exceed his oxygen supply.” —The New York Times

"A superior book, simple, but eye-catching." —School Library Journal.

“If the picture book is a new visual art form in our time, Leo Lionni is certain to be judged a master of the genre.” —The New York Times

Product Details

Random House Childrens Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Leo Lionni, an internationally known designer, illustrator, and graphic artist, was born in Holland and lived in Italy until he came to the United States in 1939. He was the recipient of the 1984 American Institute of Graphic Arts Gold Medal and was honored posthumously in 2007 with the Society of Illustrators’ Lifetime Achievement Award. His picture books are distinguished by their enduring moral themes, graphic simplicity and brilliant use of collage, and include four Caldecott Honor Books: Inch by Inch, Frederick, Swimmy, and Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse. Hailed as “a master of the simple fable” by the Chicago Tribune, he died in 1999 at the age of 89.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Fish Is Fish 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
ReadInBed More than 1 year ago
Be satisfied with your sourroundings, where you live, what you do... a good read for mom and dad too. Very colorful and eye catching for the kids. Neat to think of how you might picture things if you didn't have any idea what they looked like- that's what the fish does. And he winds up happy just being where he is and not wishing for anything more. Love this book and highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an absolutely wonderful book! The illustrations are beautiful! Every child should have this read to them!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I like how the book told the story through the minnow's eyes. It gave information on how a minnow becomes a full grown fish and a tadpole becomes a frog. The fish tries to be like the frog, because he wants to leave his enviroment and see the world. He finds out that sometimes the grass is not greener on the other side. When the frog helps him get back into the pond, he realizes this fact. The Fish's enviroment provides everything he needs and Fish is Fish.