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This book will soon become one of your child's favorites. No one is immune to the stunning beauty of the vivid watercolors that are highlighted with reflective, colored foil to make the Rainbow Fish shimmer across the page. The sheer gorgeousness of the image makes the moral of the story hit home like a smack into the middle of your forehead. All children have trouble learning to share, and this book makes an eloquent case for why that's in your child's best interest. It is easy to see why this book won the American Bookseller's 1995 Book of the Year Award!
The Rainbow Fish was simply "the most beautiful fish in the entire ocean." He had scales that "were every shade of blue and green and purple, with sparkling silver scales among them." Not only was he the most beautiful, but the other fish were impressed too. When the other fish invited him to play with them, he would just glide by. But he did enjoy being admired.
When one of the fish asked for a scale, the Rainbow Fish haughtily told them to leave. Pretty soon everyone avoided the Rainbow Fish, and he was lonely.
The rest of the story describes how Rainbow Fish achieved happiness through sharing. In the process, he makes the whole ocean more beautiful and his own life a study in connectedness. Psychologists tell us that people have both a need to be distinctive and a need to be connected. Those desires can cause behavior that improves one satisfaction at the expense of the other. The Rainbow Fish effectively shows how the two dimensions can be combined through locating and sharing with others who have the same interests.
This book will be improved by some discussions because a child may not have the experience to know how to extend the moral of this story into her or his own life. For example, your child doesn't need to permanently give away 90 percent of his or her toys in order to have any friends. However, your child should be prepared to share 100 percent of toys when friends or relatives visit. You can explain to your child how the same sharing will occur in reverse when visiting the other children. In that way, everyone has more and more fun.
You can also use the story to help explain the joys of giving to those in need. For example, you could read this book before your child trick or treats for UNICEF (or helps raise money for some other charity) for the first time.
Unfortunately, your child can mistakenly see this book as suggesting that it is a bad idea to stand out. That can be harmful in areas like academic achievement, where there is a lot of peer pressure not to excel in some schools. You want your child to understand that excellence is praiseworthy, but pridefulness and rudeness towards others are not.
You can turn this around by encouraging your child to come up with games and activities that can be shared with others. When we share the richness of our minds, the lives of all are improved. The bounty we receive in return is boundless.
I like books that raise fundamental questions about how to live an upright and emotionally rich life, and The Rainbow Fish will provide many wonderful opportunities for discussions of this sort. As a result, you will have more wonderful experiences with your child. That's a great benefit to get from sharing this book!
After you have finished reading the book many times, ask your child how a person can obtain more happiness. You will be impressed with the good ideas you will hear, and you can enjoy the happiness of seeing the beauty of your child's character in the answers.
Create beauty through giving!
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on 11 June 2014
I remember reading this when I was little!! It was such a pleasent surprise to find it in German on here, because I'm currently trying to learn the language. A beautiful book and takes me back. Love it.
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