Marcus Pfister was born in Bern, Switzerland, in 1960. His great breakthrough as a picture book author came in 1992, when The Rainbow Fish took the bestseller list by storm. To date more than thirty million copies of the different volumes and editions have appeared all over the world in about fifty languages. In his studio, which has a fine view over Switzerland's capital city, Marcus Pfister continues to create more and more new characters and stories.
K-Gr 3‘When a little striped fish approaches the established school of fish, each of whom has one silver scale, and asks if he can play, he is turned away because he is not equipped to play ``flash tag.'' Although Rainbow Fish remembers how it felt to be excluded, he does not come to the rescue until later when the school escapes a snapping shark's jaws, leaving the striped fish to fend for himself. Then Rainbow Fish spearheads the school's diversionary maneuvers and leads the smaller fish to safety. The next game is changed so that the new member of the group can join in. Pfister uses the same ocean-hued watercolors and foil-stamped scales that he used to illustrate Rainbow Fish (North-South, 1992). The faces of the fish reflect the emotions of the text, from derision to fear. The shark is appropriately fearsome. Although it is not mandatory to have read the earlier title first, it would be helpful in order to understand his recollection of his loneliness before he shared his scales and became one of the group. The gently implied themes of sharing and friendship in the first story are expanded here to include courage. Groups may be inspired to talk about befriending others, even if they are different, or about doing what is right, even if it is not popular.‘Betty Teague, Blythe Elementary School, Greenville SC