Fish is Fish


Fish is Fish is the slightly melancholy, cautionary tale of what happens if you have too much confidence and curiousity, and friends from a different species. As such, I’m not sure of its suitability for bedtime stories. 

The book begins with two friends, a minnow and a tadpole, sadly driven apart as the tadpole begins to transform into a frog. His chum doesn’t believe this, claiming “fish is fish” in a possible nod to Wittgenstein’s view of tautology in language. The frog deserts the pond, only to return later with stories of birds, cows and people. 

Impressed, the fish wants to see these wonders for himself, leaps out of the pond, almost dies and is rescued by the frog, who hauls him back underwater, “the most beautiful place of all”.

So: never explore. Never hope for something new. Stay exactly where you started in life and don’t try to change. If you’re a fish, that is. Frogs are different to you. 

All rather bleak, isn’t it? Still, La Serpiente chose to read it, so maybe it satisfies her at some level. And the illustrations are very pleasant. 

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