I’m absolutely thrilled to see this book, first published in the early 1960s, back in print, particularly as it’s by one of my all time favourite creators of picture books.
Herein Swimmy is the only small black fish happily living among a school of red ones until that is, he is the only one left, the others having been consumed in one gulp by a large and very hungry tuna fish. Off swims a sad, lonely little black fish out into the ocean where he encounters all kinds of wonderful marine life such as medusoid jellyfish, mechanical-like lobsters, all manner of strange fish, magical seeming seaweed and much more, all of which serve to make him happy once again.
But then he comes upon another school of little red fish hidden away and hears that they too, like his former brothers and sisters, fear for their lives. So, it’s down to the tiny Swimmy to become the driving force behind – or should that be, as the eye –near the front? of, a whole new way of being and of seeing. A way that enables him and all his new-found friends to move together as one and get the better of the marauding black monster fish whose lunch they might otherwise become.
Wonderful figurative language (‘A lobster, who walked about like a water-moving machine … ‘) and glorious paint/print undersea scenes (immediately recognizable as such by members of one group of 4s to 6s I shared this with) grace the pages of this enchanting book, which is also a celebration of teamwork and the imagination. This is a book (in a now very worn, previous incarnation) that I’ve read year in year out for longer than I care to remember; and can now continue to do so, for as long as I continue sharing books with young listeners and readers, thanks to Andersen Press.