Please, Mr Magic Fish is based on the traditional tale of The Fisherman and His Wife. However, the author has chosen to modify the ending to offer a hopeful ending of this traditional tale. As author and illustrator, Jessica Souhami has created a picture book that uses illustrations to support and extend the story and allow a platform for discussion and debate. As the story progresses, the characters become greedier, less polite and less grateful and this is illustrated in the words they use and in the accompanying images.
There is a wide range of vocabulary in this text to broaden children’s language and word choice however, there are a few word choices which may need some explanation for children in the UK, such as dunderhead. This book would be suitable as a bedtime read or in a classroom setting as there is a clear message that can be shared with young children about being happy with what they have and not be greedy.
Based on a traditional tale, this has a familiar pattern and rhythm, which many children will appreciate and want to read again and again. The clear message and hopeful ending will allow children to ponder on the behaviours of the characters and the subsequent outcomes.
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