The Little Black Fish by Samad Behrangi, illustrated by Farshid Mesghali. Tiny Owl, 9781910328002, 2019
Format: Picture Book
Rating 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a starred review) 5
What did you like about the book? This was an interesting story that has taken me a little while to really grasp how I feel about the book. It reads like a folktale with a grandmother fish telling all her little grandchildren fish of a little black fish that dared to leave home and see the world. She tells her grandchildren that he was ridiculed by his family and neighbors for wanting to see something outside his small swimming area, but little black fish wanted more so off he went. There were many adventures along the way, some good and some bad, but little black fish continued on because his desire to see the world was greater than any fears or concerns he had. Unfortunately, he was never seen again but you do have some sort of feeling that the little black fish did not regret his amazing travels.
What is also nice about this story is that there are many smaller stories within about acceptance, compassion, fear, bravery, trust, and perseverance. All of the trials and tribulations that little black fish faced are the same challenges faced by others going out into a new and different world — meeting different kinds of people, seeing different ways of living, etc. are all seen in the travels of little black fish.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No.
To whom would you recommend this book? This is a long story and does contain animals being eaten so might not be good for children under the age of seven. This would be a great book to read aloud to an older child.
Who should buy it? Public and elementary school libraries.
Where would you shelve it? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” pile? Yes
Reviewer: Kristin Guay, Centerville Library, Centerville, MA
Date of Review: March 25, 2019