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The Rainbow Fish Hardcover – January 27, 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
If, on the other hand, you can manage two things: to actually read the book and get the message (which isn't socialism/fascism/communism and isn't really sharing, either) and to understand that you are not 4 years old and your 4 year old doesn't think the way you do, then this book is worth picking up.
A beautiful, conceited fish lives in the deep part of the ocean. His scales sparkle and shine as he swims through the ocean - alone. The other fish attempt to befriend him, but he ignores them until one day when a small blue fish approaches him. The small blue fish tells the Rainbow Fish how beautiful his scales are, and asks for one of them. Horrified, the Rainbow Fish refuses and swims on, puzzling aloud over his loneliness. A crab directs him to an octopus, whose advice is simple: give away his scales to the other fish and he will be happy. After some thought, and a second request from the small blue fish, the Rainbow Fish takes the octopus's advice and finds friendship and happiness.
Let's face it - this book has a large number of 5-star and 1-star reviews for a reason.Read more ›
However, I found the hardcover book to be perfectly lovely. In this version, it was more clear that the reason the Rainbow Fish had no friends was because of his arrogant attitude and unwillingness to share - not because the other fish were envious, or needed to be "bought" with gifts. The sharing of his scales was not to "buy" friends or to promote communism - rather, it represented his learning three important lessons: 1) that his identity need not be tied into his appearance or his possessions, 2) that he shouldn't consider himself to be superior to the other fish just because their scales were a different color than his, and 3) that sharing your blessings with those around you makes you - and them - feel good.
I highly recommend this book, in its original version.
I think getting children interested in books at a young age is crucial, so ordinarily I would love a book with this kind of appeal, even if it wasn't a book that especially appealed to me. I perfectly understand that sometimes children and adults have different tastes.
But this book, despite its prettiness, is awful. A beautiful fish, different from all the other fish because of his glittering, jewel-colored scales, has a hard time making friends, because the other fish don't like the fact that he does not look like them. In order to win friends, he gives away his scales, one by one, until all the fish in the ocean look alike. I understand that the book is supposed to be about sharing, but giving away everything you have isn't sharing, it's buying friends. That's something many young children are already prone to do, and it's not something any caring parent or teacher would want to encourage.
The book's success also bothers me because it is a blatant rip-off of a much better book - Leo Lionni's classic Tico and the Golden Wings. In Lionni's book, a bird gives away the golden feathers of its wings. But the tone of the book is very different. Lionni's bird is born without wings, unable to fly. He wishes for wings, and is granted golden ones.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I don't care for the message of the book. It wants to teach sharing but it comes off as buying friends and dulling your shine for others. Eff that. Be fabulous.Published 2 days ago by Reader-Writer
The book stated new, but arrived in not new condition.
We love the story, but that was disappointing.
Please ignore the people exclaiming about "values" and "messages"; they are either anti-vaxxers or have been possessed by the ghost of Joseph McCarthy. Read morePublished 4 days ago by John Zackrison
It gets a star for nice artwork but what a crappy story!! If you've been cursed with this gem use it to start a discussion on setting boundaries and limits, respect yourself and... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Loren Brauner
Here's a book to teach a young child that it's okay to buy one's way to friends. The rainbow fish has to go to a secret place to talk to the old fish, but not tell anyone? Read morePublished 9 days ago by The Wifely Person