The Fish Who Found the Sea
Authored by Alan Watts
Illustrated by Khoa Le
* Ages: 4-8
* Grade Level: 1-2
* Hardcover : 32 pages
* Publisher: Sounds True
* Pub. Date: May 19, 2020
* Language: English
Unwrapping Some Illustrations for You
About the Book
"The fish was sure that if he relaxed the chase for a moment he would plunge headlong into the abyss, and so he redoubled his efforts to save himself, in spite of the fact that he became more and more tired and disgusted every minute.
Soon he saw that he was in a hideous dilemma: he must either fall into the abyss or go on chasing his tail. Both alternatives were equally horrifying.
He waved his fins in panic and prepared to die."
This spiritual parable is a wonderful story for older teens and up but I fear the age group that it targets will not work well. The underlying meaning is far too complex for little minds to comprehend. The excerpt from the book that I started with could also be frightening for a young child. The vocabulary in the text is relatively outdated and difficult for kids to understand and do not jive well with the updated, modern, electrical colours of the illustrations. The illustrations on their own are very captivating and well done but do little to enrich the meaning of the text.
The author is recognized as one of the great teacher's of Eastern philosophy to a Western audience. I feel that the philosophical stance presented in this book would be meaningless to this age group. Sorry, but personally I feel that this book will not be a hit with kids and if shared would take a lot of explaining to comprehend the message that the author is trying to convey.
Alan Watts (1915–1973) is hailed as one of the most accessible and entertaining interpreters of Eastern philosophy in the West. A teacher whose popularity has only increased over time, he wrote more than 25 books, including the classic The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are. This is his only teaching story created especially for children. Learn more at alanwatts.org.
Khoa Le is an award-winning illustrator, graphic designer, and painter based in Vietnam. She describes her work as whimsical, dark, yet vibrant and combines traditional and digital processes to create her final pieces. Learn more at khoale.daportfolio.com.
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