Review by New York Times Review
Fish and Snail live in a book, and that suits Snail fine. But Fish likes to explore other volumes and reports back to snail, "The new book has a whole ocean, and a secret treasure, and a pirate ship!" Snail's refusal to budge leads to an argument, with Fish swimming off the page and out of Snail's book entirely. Bereft, Snail wonders, "How can this be 'The Story of Fish & Snail' with no Fish?" It's meta for beginners, and even if the surreality may float over young heads, they'll relate to the story of friends with differences. Freedman's paintings, brimming with raucous, three-dimensional splashes of color, bring to mind David Wiesner's "Art & Max."
Copyright (c) The New York Times Company [July 2, 2013]
Review by Booklist Review
The world of books is very real for Fish and Snail; they can move between them. Snail, who clearly appreciates the comfort of a reread, is quite happy where he is and content to wait for Fish to come back and tell him about other books. But when Fish wants Snail to join him in a different book, the two friends argue Snail is defensive about his preferences, and Fish is dismissive of them. Fish splashes away in a huff: Fine, Snail. Good-bye. THE END. Young readers might not absorb the meta construct of the story, but they will certainly understand the horror of a few hastily spoken words and appreciate the amicable resolution. As she did in Blue Chicken (2011), Freedman uses the book as a canvas both the book in the reader's hands and the book of Fish and Snail. The juxtaposition of the muted gray library shelves with the foam green and aquamarine palettes of the books is a nice way to reinforce the idea that stories come to life when readers dive in. In the case of Fish and Snail, that is quite literally the case.--Dean, Kara Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Freedman (Blue Chicken) continues to explore the idea of books as worlds unto themselves, playing with representing three-dimensional objects on two-dimensional pages. The timid snail of the title waits in a goldfish bowl that, readers will quickly see, is actually a spread in a picture book. Snail's friend Fish returns from his daily outing with an invitation: "Ahoy, Snail! Guess what? I found a new book!" Snail's not interested: "I don't want to go into other books," he says. "I like this book." Despite the offer of a secret treasure and a pirate ship, Snail won't budge, and the two part ways angrily: "Fine, Snail. Good-bye. The end." Snail crawls to the edge of his book to see the new book far below, opened to a watery page. "Fish?" he calls uncertainly-and then boldly leaps himself, in a moment of uncharacteristic bravery. The theme of books as doorways into rich new adventures couldn't be more vividly conveyed, and the resolution of the conflict between two sweet friends provides encouragement for other "snails" to try new things. Ages 3-5. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 1-This is the tale of two friends who love stories. Every day, Snail waits patiently for Fish to return inside their peaceful book with a new story to share. But when Fish comes back with a pirate adventure story, he wants Snail to experience it firsthand, but Snail is resistant. He loves the book he's in now. The two friends quarrel, and Fish swims off to further explore the new pirate story on his own. Missing his friend, Snail creeps to the edge of his book, sees Fish in the other book below, and takes a leap of faith, diving into the new story. Fish and Snail stand out against Deborah Freedman's muted green and blue palette from her picture book (Viking, 2013), and the production is enhanced by the sound of gently breaking waves and splashing water. This gentle tale encourages viewers to embrace the unknown, showing that stories are gateways to new adventures if we're bold enough to explore them. VERDICT The production is very brief, but it will be a good fit where tales of friendship are in high demand.-Anne Bozievich, Friendship Elementary School, Glen Rock, PA © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
With some of the metafictive elements Freedman used in Blue Chicken, this is the simple story of an adventurous goldfish and a sedate snail who live in a book. After a petty disagreement over their play activity, the two friends separate--Fish swims to a new book and Snail, bereft, is left behind. Playful, clever perspective changes reveal the evolving setting. (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Right from the title page, Freedman's latest makes a splash. Atop a black-and-white stack of closed books sits one open book with blue pages fluttering like waves. A yellow fishtail disappears into the page, splashing water into the air above the books. This book happens to be a watery world (fish tank?) where, every day, Snail waits for Fish "to come home with a story." Fish offers one with "a whole ocean, and a secret treasure, and a pirate ship"--but rather than telling it, "I want to show you this time, Snail!" Nope--Snail won't go. They fight; Fish departs. Highlighted against the closed books and unobtrusive, black-and-white bookshelves in the background, Fish and Snail's watercolor world looks clear and fine. But with Fish gone, "[h]ow can this be The Story of Fish Snail?" Snail peers downward over the edge of the towering pile of books, where Fish has disappeared with a quiet "plimp." Fish's body, far below, appears murkily underwater inside the daunting new book. "F-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-S-H!" cries Snail, launching bravely into the air. Water splashes the whole height of the pile as Snail plunges into the new book. Fish peeps around a page's corner, ready for reconciliation and adventure. Texture, scale and angle accentuate the exciting difference between the in-book worlds and the pale library background. This marvelous metabook shines in both concept and beauty. (Picture book. 3-7)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.