Title Rainbow Fish to the Rescue!
Author Marcus Pfister
Illustrator/Photographer Marcus Pfister
Publisher and Year North-South Books, Inc.. 1995
Genre: Fantasy, fable
Descriptive Annotation: This book is illustrated in the same way as the prequel, The Rainbow Fish. Students will enjoy the different colors and textures! Since Rainbow Fish to the Rescue! alludes frequently to its prequel, students may need—but are not required—to read The Rainbow Fish prior to reading this in order to fully understand. After Rainbow Fish developed friendships with his peers, he begins playing flash tag with them, a game involving each fish flashing their shiny scale. One day, however, a new striped fish, who does not have a shiny scale, asks to join their game. All the fish shun him because he does not have a shiny scale, and although Rainbow Fish feels bad, he does not want to ruin the new friendship with these fish. While they are playing, a shark comes and disrupts the game. While the rainbow fish are able to swim quickly to shelter, the striped fish does not make it. Rainbow Fish knows that he must help out the striped fish, and he convinces the others to do the same. By distracting the shark, they save the striped fish, and invent a new game of fin tag, in which one does not need a shiny scale to participate!
Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: This book could be used to discuss diversity, cliques, and how to choose between right and wrong. Rainbow Fish was bullied by other fish and finally accepted by that group, yet he perpetuates the bullying by not including another fish! This book describes both school culture and our nation’s culture as a whole. In school, groups form and members of that group do not want to go against the leader for fear of being shunned or made fun of, even if the member knows what he or she is doing is wrong. This book could generate a discussion about how although people look different, they still have the same feelings as everyone else, and they should be treated fairly.
Interdisciplinary Connections: This book could be used in conjunction with a social studies lesson about segregation. The only reason the striped fish was shunned by the group and not allowed to play tag with them was because he looked different. How many times did this happen in history? Segregation occurred between black students and white students because of the difference in skin color. Rainbow Fish took the initiative to help the striped fish when he was in trouble, which led to all the other fish to help. All it takes is one person or group to begin making a difference. To whom in history could Rainbow Fish be compared?
Other Information: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The illustrations capture the reader’s attention immediately. This book is beneficial for younger students to read because it teaches a lesson. For teachers, if they notice that there is discrimination within the classroom, this book would be a good resource to show students how actions can be hurtful and also how those actions can be fixed. It also tells children that they should always do what is right, no matter how others will judge them.