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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Curious Fish (The)
by Elsa Beskow
Age Range: 6-8
Flash, a young, little perch fish lives in the lake and is curious about everything. He is called Flash because each time a big fish wants to catch him he swims as ‘quick as a flash’ to avoid danger. He is an orphan fish but has a big family of uncles and aunts. There is Aunt Flounder, who has red spots, silvery Uncle Bream and long strong Uncle Pike with his sharp teeth. They all advise little Flash that it is dangerous to be so curious and that he might be fished out of the lake by a human if he’s not careful. A little boy called Tom is at the end of the pier fishing and when he catches poor Flash he takes him home and puts him in his aquarium. When Flash’s relatives find out he has been caught they hatch a plan to rescue him.
The Curious Fish is a story that is suitable for slightly older children as the text is longer than the average picture book, but it is also ideal for reading aloud to the under 5’s. A lovely story by Swedish author and illustrator Elsa Beskow, who was regarded as the Beatrix Potter of Scandinavia, about the dangers and consequences of being too curious and that nurtures a love of animals and respect for the natural world. The artwork is superb and is beautifully executed with such attention to detail with full-colour pages depicting underwater life and showing a very clever perspective of the simultaneous portrayal of life beneath and above water level.
Other Beskow titles on the website are: Ollie’s Ski Trip (1981), Peter’s Old House (2007), Princess Sylvie (2011), The Children of Hat Cottage (2012), The Tale of the Little, Little Old Woman (2014) and An Elsa Beskow Gift Collection containing five stories –Around the Year, Emily and Daisy, Ollie’s Ski Trip, Peter in Blueberry Land and The Sun Egg (2017).