Fish Had a Wish

Written and illustrated by Michael Garland

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Kids today sometimes have a hard time seeing their own talents and appreciating who they are. We often value the abilities of movie stars, athletes, and even super heroes more than maybe we ought. Fish Had a Wish is a enjoyable little story with a gentle reminder for children to be content and happy with their abilities and talents; with who they are.

Author Michael Garland tells a tale about Fish. Fish is not content. He has a wish to be like other interesting creatures he sees around him. The story is simple. Each page has Fish admiring something about other creatures and wishing he had their abilities. In the end, Fish realizes his special ability and wishes to “stay a fish”. Garland highlights eight other creatures and their unique qualities to draw children through his book in word and with appealing pictures. Garland is not only the author, but also the illustrator and does a beautiful job. Each page is full color from corner to corner with large detailed artwork using a sort of “line art” technique.

The book is perfect for the beginning second grade reader. It uses easy words with many short vowel sounds and some rhyming words, encouraging the young reader to continue until the book is finished. Although the book has twenty two pages, only eleven have words and those are written in a nice comfortable font for early readers. Fish Had a Wish would be a great addition to second grade reading lists.

This would also be a great book for teachers to develop into a short unit study. One could read the book each day in class and do a brief study on one of the creature per day. Using Fish Had a Wish in this way would really drive the point of the book home, while making it interesting and fun for kids.

Fish Had a Wish has great qualities like easy reading, charming art work, and an interesting story line. But at the top of the list is the gentle way Garland conveys that being content with yourself is far better than looking at others abilities and wishing your unique qualities away.

  • Fish Had a WishTitle: Fish Had a Wish
  • Author/Illustrator: Michael Garland
  • Publisher: Holiday House
  • Reviewer: Pamela Wagner
  • Hardback: 22 pages
  • ISBN:978-0-8234-2394-1
  • Genre: contemporary, fantasy

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