The Little Black Fish

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Product Details
$17.95  $16.69
Tiny Owl Publishing
Publish Date
10.0 X 0.4 X 10.1 inches | 1.15 pounds

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About the Author
Samad Behrangi was an Azeri teacher born in Tabriz. He collected folk tales and wrote tales for children in Azeri Turkish and Persian. He was one of Iran's most influential authors and teachers. His tragically early death, rumored to have been ordered by the Iranian government, has given him a legendary status. Farshid Mesghali is an Iranian animator, graphic designer, illustrator, animator and writer. In 1974, he received the international Hans Christian Andersen Medal for his "lasting contribution" as a children's illustrator.
Like all the best picture books, it is both simple and profound. "Perhaps," says the little black fish, "there is more to life, and perhaps the world is more than our stream!" It's a message for us all. This is a book that has been read and loved for generations in Iran, and at last the little black fish has swum to our shores. - David Almond Gorgeously illustrated in this Tiny Owl edition by Farshid Mesghali, the first ever Asian winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Award, The Little Black Fish has been called Iran's most famous children's book of all time. As with most animal stories it can certainly be read as an allegory and its political reading ensured that it was banned in pre-revolution Iran. You can see why the story of the little fish who defies convention (and his Mother!) swims away from the small section of the stream which confines their lives on a quest to see 'if the stream goes on and on, or whether it comes to an end.' Throughout his journey he meets other creatures who also believe that there is nowhere else beyond their own limited environment and that their way of life and their view of the world is the only way to be. - School Library Association The story has been enriched with beautiful and wonderful illustrations by Farshid Mesghali, who won the Hans Christian Andersen award for illustration in 1974. Considering the violence expressed against different ethnic groups within societies in the wider world, the message of this book is important for the peaceful coexistence of today's diverse world as it not only encourages autonomy and chasing dreams, but also respect and tolerance for others. - IBBYLink
"If you are a fan of international children's literature, finding books from specific countries, or from creators that are from those countries, can be a trial. Happily, we have the internet. A hodgepodge of information, true, but once in a great while it can be of use. And if you have looked at the wide swath of children's literature out in 2019, you might have noticed an interesting trend. We're seeing a nice increase in the number of books and creators from other countries. The country where I've seen the starkest increase? Iran. For whatever reason, Iranian children's books and creators from Iran are on the rise. Which is to say, I've seen four of them this year. That's not a huge number, but for a single year it's pretty interesting. Today, I'd like to give a bit of a rundown on these books. They vary in content and style. Some are folktales and others are contemporary. Some were published in Iran first, and some were published here in the States. To begin, let's start with a book that has been reprinted here in the States. Samad Behrangi's The Little Black Fish was illustrated by Hans Christian Andersen Award winner Farshid Mesghali and was initially published in Persian in Iran in 1968. Originally published by Kanoun Parvaresh Fekri, this new version is published by Tiny Owl Publishing Ltd and translated by Azita Rassi. I highly recommend that you check out Jules Danielson's blog post on the book, which includes copious internal spreads. She also gives you background information on why the book was banned back in the day."- Fuse #8 Production
Little Black Fish wants to explore beyond the small stream that is his home, but his mother and their neighbors discourage him and even make fun of his curiosity and openness to wonder. In fact, one fish before him has been killed for daring to befriend a snail. But supported by other young fish, Little Black Fish strikes off into the river, meeting its varied denizens in the manner of a folktale. As Little Black Fish swims, a lizard gives him a small knife and some advice on how to escape a pelican. Little Black Fish stops to watch the moon and a doe escaping from a hunter and to talk to a group of tiny fish who warn him about the open sea. But Little Black Fish keeps going, and as he nears the sea, he is snatched up, first by a malicious pelican and then by a seabird, in whose gullet he meets another small fish. Told in a frame story by a grandmother fish to her 12,000 grandchildren, Little Black Fish's adventure teaches them the importance of unity in the face of struggle and integrity and independence even if it means risking everything. The text-heavy pages are decorated with bold, black- and red-dominated prints. First published in Farsi in 1968 and banned in pre-revolutionary Iran, Behrangi and Mesghali's fable is an ode to a past filled with struggles for liberation and an inspiration for the many battles ahead. (Picture book. 5-12)-Kirkus Reviews