The Rainbow Fish

The Rainbow Fish

Book - 1992
Average Rating:
Rate this:
The award-winning book about a beautiful fish who finds friendship and happiness when he learns to share is now available in a board book edition for the youngest child.
Publisher: New York : North-South Books, 1992.
ISBN: 9781558580107
Branch Call Number: j P FAVORITE PFISTER
Characteristics: [26] pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm.


Featured Blogs and Events

“Experimental Reading”: The Alternative Way to Explore the Children’s Section

Having a hard time choosing which book to read next? Not sure how you’re going to find those twelve books you need to get these awesome Summer Reading prizes? Or perhaps you think you’ve read everything, and that the library offers you no more new, exciting adventures. Look no further than “Experimental Reading.” Inspired by The Lonely Planet Guide to Experimental Travel, these “Experimental R... (more)

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
sjpl_rebekah Sep 13, 2019

This was one of my favorite books as a child. The illustrations and illuminations are beautiful to look at, and the story has a great message about the benefits of sharing.

happyphi Mar 25, 2019

Sharing is caring! This is one of my favourite childhood picture books filled with beautiful illustrations C= It was a pleasure to read and re-read and re-read again.

Feb 26, 2019

I had never heard of this book until my father (a marine biologist) bought it for my first child when she was a year old. I was horrified when I read it. Our family is big on sharing, but this message of "sharing" is twisted. A fish with beautiful scales is shunned for being luminous and no one will befriend him until he tears off parts of himself to give to the other fish, so they too can have a shiny scale. Only having done so will they be his friend. That isn't sharing! We each have aspects of ourselves that make us special, and we shouldn't have to change our in-born traits to please others, especially when doing so does us personal harm.

Dec 26, 2018

Really wonderful story with beautiful illustrations!!! Prized possessions aren't worth much if one has no friends!!!

Sep 05, 2018

We liked this book. Our favorite part was when the rainbow fish shared all his sparkly scales. This was our favorite part because there as a lot of scales, he learned to share and now he’s not alone. We learned that when you share you will be a lot happier. If you didn’t share your scales that means you are being a bucket dipper. This book reminded us of the book ‘How to be a Bucket Filler’ because they both teach us about being nice.

Jun 06, 2017

Great book to help children understand the concept of sharing.

Apr 12, 2017

This book is a family favorite and brings an important message to the children of our materialistic society.
Sure, Rainbow Fish has more beautiful scales than all the other fish, but he is snotty, selfish, and rude. They do not bully him, they simply leave him alone (and yes, I think it's perfectly fine to teach our children they have the right to set boundaries with arrogant people!).
In the end, with the help of the starfish and the octopus, Rainbow Fish discovers the happy feeling that comes from being generous to one's friends, and that sometimes, less is more: giving is getting and sharing is keeping.

Feb 27, 2017

I have to agree with chgarland. This book actually threw me off quite a bit. I'm all for sharing. But, what I don't agree with is how this fish has these beautiful scales, and unless he shares them, no one will be nice to him. Is that what we're to teach our children? I think it sends a bullying message because none of the fish wanted to be his friend and wouldn't talk to him until he shared the scales that belonged to him. I would hate for my child to have something and because it was his, others kids didn't talk to him unless he gave it away. Ugh, I wanted to love this book after so many great reviews and suggestions from people to read it. But, I just can't. The sharing message was lost when the other fish ignored him and made him feel isolated and alone because he had something they wanted.

vernessa7 Jun 03, 2013

Do not like because it is to baby. by Michael

Aug 05, 2012

On a weekly book thread I frequent, somebody mentioned something called "The Rainbow Fish" and called it commie trash. Boy is it ever. Pretty fish has sparkly scales. Other fishes are jealous and punish Rainbow Fish with social isolation until/unless he hands out single sparkly scales to all the other fish. Then they are nice to him again. Apparently this is supposed to teach some moral lesson about sharing but what it really teaches is "bullying pays."

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Sep 02, 2017

Mendoza1811 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 3 and 5

Emily_ELPL Feb 25, 2017

Emily_ELPL thinks this title is suitable for 3 years and over

vernessa7 Jun 03, 2013

vernessa7 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

blue_dove_128 Aug 08, 2012

blue_dove_128 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

blue_horse_2236 Jul 30, 2012

blue_horse_2236 thinks this title is suitable for 3 years and over


Add a Summary
vernessa7 Jun 03, 2013

Rainbow fish did not share his scales with the other fish and he was lonely but when he shared his scales he made a lot of friends. by michael


Add a Quote
vernessa7 Jun 03, 2013

quoted by Michael from book : I have been waiting for you said the octopus with a deep voice , the waves have told me your story this is my advice give a glittering scale to each of the other fish you will no longer be the most beautiful fish in the sea but you will discover how to be happy


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at LPL

To Top