REVIEW: The Little Black Fish illustrated by Bizhan Khodabandeh
Based on the Persian children’s classic by Samad Behrangi, this book is about a young fish’s courage to question authority and strike out on her own.
An inquisitive little fish decided to question authority and leave the safety of her own home to venture out into the expansive sea. The creatures she meets along the way teach her important lessons and make her learn the most valuable treasure in life: freedom.
And now for something completely different. It was the gorgeous cover that drew me into this book reading experience. I saw it and thought, “Must have!” Thinking I was getting something cute, I soon realized this wasn’t going to be no Disneyfied experience.
But let’s talk about the colorful artwork first. It’s lovely, evocative yet also accessible for all ages. One can follow the story even without the words or just follow along with the words. I found it a vibrant, visual delight.
The actual story is a (just) slightly adapted version of a fable by Iranian writer Samad Behrangi. The Little Black Fish learns that some people won’t understand you or your heartfelt desires, some will try and hold you back and whine behind your back while others will temp you or turn on you. Some will come to your aid and others will throw you to the herons. But keep trying and never give up because you don’t know when something you’ll do for another will change their life and echo into new generations.
I will admit that the ending caught me off guard but it made me think. In fact I’ve returned to it and mused about it many times since I finished reading it. If parents are thinking of reading it to their children, I would recommend previewing it themselves first so as to be ready for any questions given the slightly bittersweet ending. B