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Self concensus at work
on May 3, 2005
An email friend used the term "self consensus" to describe the process by which we start with a known person- ourselves- and move in small steps away from that to construct our image of another person we know via email. This book is a good illustration of that idea.
The story is about a minnow and a tadpole. They look alike, so they must be alike, right? The frog wakes up to having grown legs and the fish is astounded- this cannot be! They are both fish! Time goes on and the fish grows into a larger fish and the tadpole into a frog. Finally the frog is able to leave the pond, but eventually he returns to tell his old friend about the world. The fish pictures the birds as colorful fish with wings, the cow as a hilarious furry fish with horns and udders and the people as fish in clothing with hair. Of course the fish wants to see these amazing things so he jumps out, only to discover that he really needs to be in his cool, watery element to survive.
The illustrations are fairly simple colored pencil drawings- at least until we get to the creatures outside the pond. My children found the "birds" interesting, but the cow and the humans had them in stitches. They found those critters to be some of the funniest things they can imagine- and my 8 yo was able to understand and articulate that we base our assumptions on what we already know and understand. A pretty good lesson for kids to learn, IMO, as well as a sweet story of friendship between two very different creatures.