Monday, May 5, 2008

Fish Is Fish

Fish is Fish
Leo Lionni ~ Pantheon, 1970

You'll notice in the next few weeks I will be hitting some more famous titles due to the fact that I've picked only paperbacks to bring down to Mexico for obvious space reasons. That said, who wasn't a fan of Mr. Lionni's if you were born in the 60s and 70s? I was obsessed with Alexander and the Wind-up Mouse as it both intrigued and spooked me, my favorite combo when it comes to books.

I'd never read Fish before until I bought it at a thrift shop last year. An unlikely friendship between a fish and a tadpole turns strange as the pollywog sprouts legs and becomes a frog, taking to the land. In curiosity and envy, the fish supposes he too can check out the world above and discovers what happens when we think our friends have it better than we do. Only when we go away from that which we take for granted, can we find that our love lies closer to heart than we think.

The sunrays reached down within the weeds and gently shifted patches of luminous color. This world was surely the most beautiful of all worlds. He smiled at his friend the frog, who sat watching him from a lily leaf. "You were right," he said. "Fish is fish."

Lionni's imagery is often uncomplicated, yet he always tells a tale with deep philosophical meaning. Simple put, this dude was one hep cat. He published his autobiography, Between Worlds, a few years before he died. He was a true renaissance man and ran in some pretty heady art circles, so it's a fascinating read if you are so inclined.

Also by:
Little Blue and Little Yellow
Tico and the Golden Wings
Alexander and the Windup Mouse


Unknown said...

LOVE this book, my favorite image is the parade of the fish family - that flowery hat on the mom kills me.

Burgin Streetman said...

I know... don't we all do that. Picture the unknown as something like ourselves?

Thanks for reading!

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