Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom! mamabear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    15,629
    Rep Power
    657

    Default The Rainbow Fish

    Yes, another thread about a children's book.

    So.

    I'd always heard really good things about The Rainbow Fish. Then when I first read it I was pretty horrified. I read it out loud and DH and I both thought the moral of the story wasn't sharing is good, greed and arrogance are bad; we thought it was to give away who you are and what makes you unique to fit in - individuality won't get you any friends. Neither of us thought that interpretation of the book was any more "reaching" than the sharing interpretation. So we've hidden it. LOL!

    Anyways, I just Googled it because I wanted to make sure I had the name right, and I saw the Wikipedia entry. Really interesting. Here's what it says:

    The moral

    This book can be interpreted in several ways. One interpretation is that sharing is good, as it makes the takers and the one being taken from feel better, and that earning and contributing instead of taking from others is bad.[1]
    Others believe the book promotes the idea that giving away all—or, in this case, almost all—of one's worldly possessions is best, or that one must give up one's unique identity in order to be accepted by society.[2]
    Another interpretation is that Materialism is the driving force behind the world. You cannot have friends without buying them first. Others argue that this book maintains a socialistic undertone promoting children to emulate these political methods.[citation needed]

    [edit] Criticism

    Critics of the book believe that its main purpose is to promote the idea of socialism and income redistribution to small children, and to demonize the idea of individualism and personal property.[3] It could be seen as arguing that Communism is good.
    The critics' claim[citation needed] is that the story does not promote healthy sharing, but rather advances the idea of a socialist society where wealth is redistributed to the point where everyone has the same amount of wealth, and individualism and capitalism are wrong and should be shunned. These ideas are in contrast with traditional American values[citation needed], and are seen by some as a way to undermine them.[citation needed]
    Neal Boortz argues that the book is "insidious", because it "aims at human beings who are still at their most impressionable age.." and "too many American parents have no idea just what kind of message they're imparting..." because parents and teachers see the book as story with a "sharing and vanity moral" instead of the straightforward text of the material. [4]
    Last edited by mamabear; 02-09-2009 at 11:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom! mamabear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    15,629
    Rep Power
    657

    Default

    Umm, for some reason I lost what I wrote?

    OK, so what I said was that I think the idea that it's socialist is reading way too deeply into it. Teachers teach kids not to hoard, and that if you're not using a toy let someone else play with it, so I suppose teachers are also socialists. (Well, it would explain why they are unionized. )

    Although the idea that it is a socialist book made it way more appealing to me.

  3. #3
    Expert Forum User
    Kari2217's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    5,504
    Rep Power
    339

    Default

    I remember reading this to my little sister at bedtime, she loved the scales!!
    This book is actually very controversial... but I think the parent can steer the child into what to take from it... (ie. bragging will turn off friends) Then again, the age group for this book is very impressionable and who know what they are getting from it...

    My view on the book is that it's about being too proud of outside beauty and that can blind a fish, or a child to the beauty people hold inside.

  4. #4
    Ana
    Ana is offline
    Expert Forum User
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    7,158
    Rep Power
    314

    Default

    I like a children's book with some ambiguity. When the meaing is too plain, kids dont ask questions and if they do, parents have all the answers. I think its a good thing to be able to say of a book, "I dont know exactly what it means. It could be this or that - what did you get from it?" It amazing what kids come up with when things are left wide open and no idea is out the question.

  5. #5
    Expert Forum User
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Elsewhere
    Posts
    3,962
    Rep Power
    184

    Default

    I agree with Hecate ... I love this book for various reasons ... young children just love the shiny scales and dont get much else out of the message other then 'pretty' but as they grow older and begin to associate the 'words with the pictures' the book can be used to have so many varied discussions around how children percieve the message in the story and why they think what they do and it gives great insight into how THEY are seeing the world and open up other learning venues to spin off from the discussion!

    I agree that MY interpretation of the book is that the fish gave a way so much of his identity that he lost his individuality ... but have yet to have a young child who does not have my jaded life experience reach that same conclusion

Similar Threads

  1. The fish died
    By mountain mama in forum General Support/Advice about the Kids!
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-07-2008, 04:42 PM
  2. Salmon and other Fish
    By funkymom in forum Wonderful 1's
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 06-11-2008, 08:57 AM
  3. DIY rainbow babylegs
    By bikruca in forum Arts, Crafts & Hobbies
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 10-26-2007, 02:59 PM
  4. Rainbow Cinemas
    By AvaMama in forum Chit Chat
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04-14-2007, 06:13 AM
  5. Rainbow Fun- exercise class
    By Jill in forum Terrible 2's & Trying 3's
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-08-2007, 10:26 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •