The Lit­tlest Fish

Sylvia Rouss; Car­los Aval­one, illus.
  • Review
By – January 16, 2012
The Lit­tlest Fish is the lat­est book in Rouss’ Lit­tlest” series. The lit­tlest fish is sim­ply in search of a friend to play with. But the sea crea­tures he encoun­ters only see him as food, not a friend. Soon he runs into a giant fish, who asks for his help with a stom­achache. The lit­tlest fish swims inside, only to find Jon­ah, the prophet, in need of help, too. The lit­tlest fish enlists the oth­er sea crea­tures to help the great fish and they wig­gle and jig­gle” until the great fish spits them out with a thun­der­ous burp.” This sil­ly, rhyming sto­ry would appeal only to the very youngest chil­dren. Illus­tra­tions are water­col­ors, rem­i­nis­cent of a brighter, more sat­u­rat­ed, car­toon-ish ver­sion of the Rain­bow Fish; the lit­tlest fish even has rain­bow-striped fins. The col­ors are bright and invit­ing, mak­ing the ocean crea­tures seem like friends you’d want to have, too. The book tries to relay the con­cepts of the Jon­ah sto­ry in the sim­plest way, rein­forc­ing the idea of courage and doing what G‑d asks. The lit­tlest fish enables Jon­ah to return to Nin­eveh and the sea crea­tures to unite while help­ing oth­ers — a good les­son for us all. For ages 2 – 5.
Rachel Ros­ner is the Direc­tor of the Jew­ish Book Fes­ti­val in Rochester, NY. She also runs Jew­ish Fam­i­ly Pro­grams for the JCC, and has worked there since 1994. She holds a degree in Ear­ly Child­hood Edu­ca­tion from Syra­cuse University.

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