I love picture books that work on a number of different levels. I just discovered this book today, unaware that it was a follow up to an earlier release. It's a simple little story about a small fish named Adri who notices the other fish swimming with him in the ocean. He sees that some fish swim in a circle, some fish swim in a line, some fish swim together and some fish swim alone. There are red fish and blue fish, quiet fish and loud fish, and smooth fish and spiny fish. The concluding pages detail little Adri's amazement that there are so many fish and they are all so different. His mama's wise words advising him that "Life is grand journey, Adri, you be you." are good words for any young fish or human to hear.
These fish are really cute, bright and colorful. Kids will be fascinated by the many patterns. Not only does this book offer a life affirming lesson in a manner that is straight forward and not heavy handed, it also serves as a great book on opposites! Each two page spread contrasts two words, such as same/different, big/tiny, High/Low, and left/right, giving parents an opportunity to not only introduce concepts of diversity, but also some important vocabulary distinctions. Readers are challenged to find little Adri on every page, giving practice in pattern discrimination, and for those curious youngsters eager to learn what all those words are on the endpapers, they will be treated to a myriad of self esteem building phrases such as "No one is just like you", or "find your bliss", and "accept others". All great discussion starters.
This is an excellent choice for gift giving, and will make a perfect addition to any young preschooler's or toddler's collection. As for me, I will be using it for story time even though it's not all that large. I just haven't seen fish this cute since Lucy Cousin's Hooray for Fish. An enthusiastic recommend.