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Researchers constantly find that reading to children is valuable in a variety of ways, not least of which are instilling a love of reading and improved reading skills. With better parent-child bonding from reading, your child will also be more emotionally secure and able to relate better to others. Intellectual performance will expand as well. Spending time together watching television fails as a substitute.
To help other parents apply this advice, as a parent of four I consulted an expert, our youngest child, and asked her to share with me her favorite books that were read to her as a young child. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish was her pick as the best of the books by Dr. Seuss.
One of the appeals of this book is that it is relatively easy to learn to read, yet has much more variety than most other early readers. So your child will feel like she or he has accomplished a lot with reading this book, which is correct.
The title gives the key to why this book works well as an early reader. One word is changed at a time, with a clear illustration next to it. Most children will read the illustrations like a rebus and later associate the words with the sounds of the name for the pictures. At some point, they begin reading from the words. Very nice!
Here's another sequence: "black fish blue fish old fish new fish."
Then, when he moves on, he uses simple rhymes: "This one has a little star. This one has a little car."
Next, he progresses to substituting "some" for "fish" and adding a single verb to make a sentence as in "Some are read . . . . Some are old."
So almost any child can soon begin to read along with few errors in the first 2 or 3 pages. Whenever the child can go no more, you can just keep going. With repetition, more of the book becomes memorized and the process continues.
There is another reward for you and your child: The book also previews many of the wonderful characters and rhyming schemes that appear in other Dr. Seuss books. As a result, it will be easier to get started reading those books. You will feel like you are seeing an old friend again.
You can also use each rhyme to take off on your own speculations. Our daughter used to love to come up with alternative rhymes that fit the pictures.
Books like this one make it great fun to be either a parent or a child. In some cases, this book will be there for you in both roles over 20 to 40 years!
Overcome your mistaken beliefs about how children can start to learn to read by seeing your child start naturally by associating the words with the pictures as you read this wonderful book to him or her!
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on June 22, 2000
The thing I like most about this book is it survives the perpetual-reading test, that is, neither my daughter nor I am tired of reading it after two years.
"One Fish..." is really composed of several "short" sections that can be read in any order, so for a toddler, it's perfectly fine to skip around. In fact, this is conducive to a toddler's randomness - one day it's "Hop hop hop, I am a Yop"; another day it's "From there to here."
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on September 24, 2000
Allright ya little PUNKS. You go read your Tom Clancys and your sappy Danielle Steel romance novels and your "Bridges of Madison County"s and we can even go back time to your Mark Twains and your "Catcher In The Rye"s, you go read ALL of that. Then read THIS book, and YOU tell me which one is better. Because NONE of that can match the emotional intensity of reading to your kids at bedtime: "Once there was a little Nook. On his hat he had a hook. On his hook he had a book. On his book was "How to Cook". But a Nook can't read and a Nook can't cook, so what good to a Nook is a hook cook book?" AWESOME!
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on July 3, 2011
The book's content will always be wonderful, but this reprint--the physical book (1988)--is a disappointment. It's smaller than the edition I grew up with; smaller than the ones my kids had.

The picture shown is deceiving This edition has a big red jagged permanent thing just under the "blue fish" of the title, nearly as long as the title words "red fish" and as wide as the space between "red fish" and "blue fish". In the red splotch it says, in white, "Look inside if you wish for a FREE gift!" Boo! Yuck!
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on November 9, 1999
After reading this book to my 6 month old, I'm convinced it's never too early to read to a child. She recognizes those wonder rhyming patterns and squeals in delight.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon July 7, 2006
Since my 7-month-old still thinks books are for putting in your mouth, I've been buying him bath books. I bought this one sight unseen from Amazon, and as much as I love the classic "One Fish, Two Fish," I was a little disappointed. First, the book is small, even for a bath book (about 4x6 inches -- the "8.3 x 4.8" dimensions in the Amazon description are just plain WRONG). Second, the book was shorter than I expected. It consists only of the first 8 pages of the original "One Fish." Of course, the baby doesn't know how abridged the book is, so he enjoys it. And the colors are bright, the printing is sharp, and the overall package is high-quality and holds up to lots of handling. But there's not much there to read to him.

Overall, if you're looking for a durable "One Fish" edition that's good for mealtimes, or bath time, or for taking in the stroller, this is an excellent buy. Just be aware that it's no substitute for the real thing.
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on July 28, 2001
I grew up with this book and now my nine month old loves it too. the text is very rhythmic, as you would expect from Dr. Seuss. The illustrations are composed of heavy black lines and bright solid colors, making it easy for an infant to see. The text is arranged creatively around the page, adding to the visual interest and also helping the beginning reader to relate the pictures to the words. As a biologist, I interpret the central theme of the book as playing off biological diversity (Some have two feet and some have four. Some have six feet and some have more . . .), and expanding the idea to include the diversity of people and human pursuits. The fitness craze, furniture design, and silly kitchen gadgets are all covered in the brief and funny vignettes. The one limitation of the book is that there are some stereotypical differences between the interests of the boy and girl, and it is somewhat lacking in ethnic diversity. But hey, it was written in 1960. It also would be great if it had a board book edition, since it is hard to keep the little guy from crinkling the pages.
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on April 27, 2016
This a simple, classic Dr. Seuss book, involving counting, colors, and nonsensical creatures. I purchased this book for a friend's baby shower whose theme is "Baby, Bows, & Books", and the objective is to help build the baby's library and encourage reading from birth. A child's library just is not complete without some Dr. Seuss, and this classic fits the bill perfectly. I can remember reading this book in my early elementary years. My order arrived promptly and was packaged appropriately.
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on May 14, 2015
Dr. Seuss stories are a must for every child's library. I bought this book for my sister's sign in book for her baby shower. It was perfect. It matched the theme of "ocean." It will be a keepsake that she will always look at because it is multifunctional. As she reads it to here baby she can see the signatures of everyone who attended her shower.

If you have never read this story you should go out and buy it immediately. It is such a cute story and can teach your little one many different skills. It also has great pictures and is very durable!
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on August 30, 2015
I don't know if every toddler would enjoy this as much as mine. I have a twin boys and girl, and the girl had just started wearing a little pony tail when we got this, so they decided the two kids were themselves. They were also getting told not to stand on chairs and things, so they loved seeing the kids up too high or nearly falling. Anyway, the jingles and weird characters have continued to be a big hit here for a long time.
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