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The Little Black Fish is brimming with hope!

Buy The Little Black Fish 

The Little Black Fish is brimming with hope!

We love senior lecturer, Mathew Tobin’s five star Amazon review of The Little Black Fish! It’s always wonderful to read reviews on different platforms! Last year we celebrated 50 years of this classic children’s story, and even now it still carries important messages about life and bravery that everyone can learn from.

Read his review below!


First published in 1968 and read ‘as an allegory’ of political difference in ‘pre-revolutionary Iran’, The Little Black Fish invites us to listen to an old fish’s retelling of a story to her twelve thousand grandchildren. The story tells of a Little Black Fish who is tired sharing a stream with a controlling mother who cares only what he neighbours think and the bickering of the other fish. Taking a leap of faith, he plunges down from the stream’s waterfall to seeks answers to his many questions on life.

An illustrated book rather than a picturebook, Behrangi’s long narrative, accompanied by Mesghali’s beautiful block prints, sweeps us along with encounters that delight and encourage us to reflect on their deeper meaning. First published in Persian, Azita Rassi’s translation retains wonderful snatches of dialogue between Little Black Fish and his various encounters and celebrates our protagonist’s sense of child-like inquisitiveness.

The story, as you would expect with great literature, invites many levels on which to read this story and much room for talk. This story would make for a wonderful read-aloud in any classroom or at home. Listeners and readers alike will be deeply inspired by Little Black Fish’s desire for liberation and although the ending may seem bleak it is, in fact, brimming with hope and revolution.

  • Watch a fantastic puppet performance of The Little Black Fish at Hay Festival
  • Read a blog: Celebrating 50 years of this classic children’s story with a reflection on the messages it shares
  • Read a review by Ellie Labbett: The Little Black Fish is food for thought!

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