This beautifully told folk tale, well known across Europe, explores the consequences of greediness. There is lots of humour in both text and illustrations, and the idea of making a happy ending is especially well handled in both. The language is elegant, uncomplicated, with perfect images that bring the story startlingly off the page. Jack catches an unusual fish that speaks to him before he can get it in his bag. This magical fish promises Jack his dearest wish, should he release him back into the sea. When Jack tells this remarkable story to his wife, she rushes him back to the shore to make a request of the fish; they want a dry cottage, one with a blue teapot and food in their larder. Agreeing, the fish tells them to “Turn around, turn around, and see what you will see.” Their thanks are abundant! The couple’s happiness is however short-lived, as they revisit the fish three times more, increasing their requests as we watch them becoming more and more splendid but also more and more discontent. Out comes their final request of the fish, as they stand upon the shore beside a boiling, dark sea to face the now angry fish. “We want to be King and Queen of all the land and sea,” they say together. “Turn around, turn around, and see what you will see.” Oh dear, there it is, once again, their cold, leaky cottage with a bare larder, and they are dressed once more in their raggedy clothes. But what next for this couple? As readers, we are asked to ponder on what life might now hold for them. The author’s hope is that they will become content, catching lots of fish for market. On the end papers, the author/illustrator writes that she wished to change the traditionally unpleasant natures of the two main characters, to show how the gifts of riches do not make for happiness, and that their characters change as their thanks to the fish peter to nothing. With nods to The Elephant and the Bad Baby, this intriguing book will hold its own in any modern library or home.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Ellie http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Ellie2018-09-01 15:43:002021-03-30 15:46:41Please, Mr Magic Fish!