The Curious Fish, Hardback
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


When Flash, a very curious little fish, is caught and held prisoner on dry land, his aunts and uncles are determined to save him.

But how can they leave the water to go to his rescue?

With the help of a wise old frog and a little magic, even the most unlikely wishes can come true.

This highly imaginative and funny picture book paints the world from a whole new perspective -- from a fish's point of view.

Children will delight in the wonderful characters of the lake, and in their extraordinary adventure on dry land.

This is the first time this charming Elsa Beskow book has been available in English.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 32 pages, colour illustrations
  • Publisher: Floris Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Picture storybooks
  • ISBN: 9780863157158



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Long before there was Nemo the clownfish there was Flash, an inquisitive little perch whose idyllic life in a beautiful Swedish lake is interrupted when he is caught by a young boy named Tom, and put in a small fishbowl. His honorary aunts and uncles - dear Aunt Flounder, silvery Uncle Bream, and long Uncle Pike - learn that the young fish has been abducted and, determined to rescue him, visit a wise old frog who uses her magic to give them temporary legs. Making their way to Tom's bedroom, they demand that the little boy return Flash to the lake. Seeing how disconsolate his piscine captive is, Tom agrees, and is rewarded in turn with some unusual swimming lessons...Originally published in 1933 as <u>Sagan om den nyfikna abborren</u>, this classic Swedish picture-book has an element of the surreal to it, with a fish-out-of-water tale that reminded me by turns of <i>The Little Mermaid</i> and the animated film <i>Finding Nemo</i>. Like the mermaid in Andersen's tale, the three fish who set out to rescue Flash must bargain with a magical water creature to gain their legs, and are warned that their new hybrid state is temporary. As with <i>Finding Nemo</i>, this is a tale of a young fish who is held captive on land, and pursued by would-be rescuers from his own element. Although I appreciated these parallels, I can't say that <u>The Curious Fish</u> is my favourite, of Elsa Beskow's fairy-tales, although it is certainly the most... well, curious. The artwork here, as is to be expected in Beskow, is simply beautiful. There is a serene quality to some of the paintings that I found very appealing, particularly those (like the cover image) in which Tom is pondering the watery world of the lake. Recommended to young readers who enjoy fairy-tales, and to anyone who appreciates Elsa Beskow's artwork!