Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Story of Fish & Snail by Deborah Freedman

Everyday, fish comes back to snail to tell him new stories he has found in other books besides theirs.  But then one day, fish tells snail that he must come with him, that he has found another book so good he wants to show it to snail, not just tell him.  But snail doesn't want to leave the book he's in.

Fish and snail exchange angry words, but when snail won't budge, fish takes a dive into the other book.  But without fish, snail asks himself, how can we be The Story of Fish & Snail?

Looking over the edge of their book, snail sees the almost disappearing fish swimming in another book.  And sure enough, snail takes the plunge into the new book, and finds fish, who is so happy to see his friend that their argument is forgotten.  The two friends set off together on a new adventure exploring the new book.

This is just such a lovely story about courage, and taking chances and leaving the safety of what is known and familiar and venturing off to try something new and unknown.


It is also a story that shows how one book is like the confines of a fish bowl, while many books open up an whole world, or in the case of fish & snail, a whole ocean of new and different adventures and people to meet and places to explore.

Some reviewers think this is too much of a metabook for the target reader of three to five years old, but I don't.  They don't really have to get the metaidea.  They already understand the idea of friendship.

I loved this book, I loved the story and illustrations.  Both are done so gently and there is such a wonderful message about the importance of navigating the world with the help of a good friend.  Using soft pastel hues, Freedman has created enchanting watercolor illustrations of The Story of Fish & Snail set against a black and white pencil (?) drawing of books on shelves.

The Story of Fish & Snail is a great read aloud story that will most likely elicit lots of discussion even with the youngest readers and it is a perfect summer book, especially for kids who may be about the begin school in September and may be feeling a little iffy about a new adventure and need a little encouragement before taking the school plunge like snail:

This book is recommended for readers age 3+
This book was obtained from the publisher


  1. I love the premise. Sounds great!

  2. I love the permise and messages too! Cant wait to read it to DD! Thanks for the excellent review.

  3. How sweet and totally unique. I love the sound of it and a great way to teach your child about courage and friendship.
    Thanks so much for bringing it to our attention on the Kid Lit Blog Hop. Cheers Julie Grasso (Hostess)

  4. That looks adorable! Thanks for your great review!

  5. That sounds like a fabulous book! How original! Thanks for sharing it in the Kid Lit Blog Hop.


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