This is a Poem that Heals Fish

This is a Poem that Heals Fish


Written by Jean-Pierre Siméon
Illustrated by Olivier Tallec
Translated from French by Claudia Zoe Bedrick

Selected for The Best of Brain Pickings 2017

What is a poem?

Arthur’s beloved fish, Leon, languishes in his bowl—he is suffering from boredom. “Hurry,” his mother says, “give him a poem!” Unsure of what a poem is, Arthur goes and looks for one in the pantry, in the closet, under his bed. Eventually he asks his neighbors, each of whom gives him a different response. In the end, Arthur tells Leon everything he has learned, finding that he might just be a poet after all.

ISBN: 978-1-59270-067-7
10.2" (W) x 10.2" (H) • 48 pages • HCJ

Grade Level: 3
Interest Level: 1-5
Lexile Level: 580
Guided Reading Level: O

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Selected for The Best of Brain Pickings 2017

"Every once in a while, you stumble upon something so lovely, so unpretentiously beautiful and quietly profound, that you feel like the lungs of your soul have been pumped with a mighty gasp of Alpine air. This Is a Poem That Heals Fish is one such vitalizing gasp of loveliness—a lyrical picture-book that offers a playful and penetrating answer to the question of what a poem is and what it does. And as it does that, it shines a sidewise gleam on the larger question of what we most hunger for in life and how we give shape to those deepest longings."―Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

"Exuding magic and unbridled creativity on every page, this is a book with the potential to heal more than just fish." —Publishers Weekly

"An enchantingly abstract invitation to ponder poetry." ―Kirkus Reviews

"A great book for any age! At this very moment, it feels like one of the best books I’ve ever bought!” —Mary Lee Hahn, A Year of Reading

"This Is A Poem That Heals Fish is a rare little miracle of a book. It manages the brilliant trick of explaining the abstract concept of a 'poem' to a child through the simple but effective art of demonstration. The book itself is a perfectly constructed poem." ―

"A wonderfully sensitive seek-and-find experience for all of us." —The Vermont Country Sampler


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