Monday, November 2, 2009

REVIEW: The Little Red Fish

Yoo, T.  (2007).  The Little Red Fish.  New York:  Dial Books for Young Readers.


Enjoyment Rating: !!!

JeJe, a young boy, goes with his grandfather to the library where he words.  JeJe takes his red fish with him and mid-way through a book, JeJe realizes his fish is missing from it's bowl.  Jeje follows the red fish into a book and witnesses the magic of the illustrations coming to life.

The Little Red Fish shows the power of engaging with books, as animals jump out of pages.  Most pages only include two or three lines of text, but several have none at all, encouraging visual literacy and potentiality for a young reader and adult to take turns reading, with the child taking on the responsibility of the textless pages.

The illustrations have a clear Asian influence, with very little but very intentional use of red (the rest of the illustration are drawn in brown-scale).


The little Red Fish shows the imaginative power of literacy.  Although the fish is the magic figure, a teacher or parent can encourage to think about how libraries could potentially be perceived as a magical place.

A teacher could also draw students' attention to how nature is emphasized throughout the story.

Quotes of Note:

"JeJe's grandfather was a librarian at an old library in the middle of the forest.  One day he allowed JeJe to come along with him, and JeJe brought his friend the little red fish."

"He was amazed by all the different rooms filled with books.  He explored from one corner to another."

"Could that be his fish's tail peeking out of the middle of the book?  Jeje picked it up, and when he opened it...something magical happened."

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