Friday, January 24, 2020

The Fishing Lesson

Title:  The Fishing Lesson                      

Author: Heinrich Boll

Illustrator: Emile Bravo
Adapted by: Bernard Friot (first published in German in 1963!)
Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2018
Intended Ages: 5+
Themes: Ambition, Contentment, Humor

Opening Line(s):
"In a small harbor on the coast, a man in shabby clothes dozes in his tiny fishing boat."
Synopsis: This book explores what it means to be contented. What is "enough" in life. A bit deep for the youngest readers, but I believe they will see their busy schedules mirrored in the action.

What I like about this book:

This book works on many levels. What it means to look at another culture from the outside. Tourism etiquette. Even the existential question of what it means to be content. Told in a contemporary graphic format with multiple images per page, the text is still fairly sparse for easy comprehension. A friend who works at my local library shared this book with me. Thanks, Eric! I must admit that I didn't recognize the author's name as a winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1972.

  •  Discuss what it means to be ambitious
  • Write a list of goals, then discuss how you will know when you achieve them. For example, if you want to be a singing star--do you need to have a number one hit? If you do, would you continue singing after your song reached number one? What would you sacrifice to achieve your goals? Compare your answers with a family member or classmate.
  • Enjoy your favorite seafood lunch!
  • Read about another country. How would you act differently if you visited there?
I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

This review is part of PPBF (Perfect Picture Book Friday) where bloggers share great picture books. Organized and curated by author Susanna Leonard Hill, she keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. #PPBF


  1. What a thought-provoking picture book. I haven't heard of it, but you've intrigued me. From your description, it reminds me of The Fate of Fausto (Oliver Jeffers, 2019), another thought-provoking picture book that keeps adults thinking long after reading it.

  2. I've never seen this one, but it's intriguing! Thanks for sharing it.