Pfister, Marcus. The Rainbow Fish. Illustrated by Marcus Pfister. Nordsüd Verlag, 1992. 24 pages.
The Rainbow Fish written by Marcus Pfister was orginially published in German, but then later translated into English by J. Alison James. This book tells a story of a fish who, though he does not have rainbow scales, has still very colorful ones. He has very special scales — one that are silver and shiny. He is the only fish around to have these very special, very silver scales. All of the other fish think he is very beautiful and they constantly ask the fish if they could have one of his scales so they can be beautiful like him and because he has so many. These little innocent think that since the Rainbow Fish has so beautiful shiny scales, he would not mind giving up a few so everyone else can be happy and feel special or beautiful as well. The Rainbow Fish tells the other fish no and later finds himself wondering why he is so lonely and unhappy. He decides to share his glittering and shiny scales. Because of this kind action, the Rainbow Fish now has many friends and is happy. He realizes that not only is sharing a good thing, but that he gets joy from giving.
The text to illustration ratio is pretty equal. The detailed illustrations match the very intriguing text. The way the author talks about the beautiful scales on the fish matches. The colors definitely contribute to the popularity of the book. The shimmering silver foil used in the actual books really catches the bright blues, pinks, and purples. It helps define and make the other colors pop.
From a philosophical stand point, The Rainbow Fish can teach children how to explore themselves and test new things. For example, if a child does not like to share or communicate effectively with other children, then after reading this story they might reconsider and actually want to share with others to not only produce happiness for others but also for themselves.
The Rainbow Fish shared his scales left and right. And the more he gave away, the more delighted he became.
The Rainbow Fish not only can create external joy of children and young adults, but also internal joy by teaching to better themselves.