Cover Image: The Fish Who Found the Sea

The Fish Who Found the Sea

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

First and foremost, this book is beautiful! The illustrations caught my eye immediately and every page was incredible. I love the idea of the story but I agree with others who have reviewed it that it could use some editing to make it more accessible for the audience. If it’s possible to simplify the narrative, I think this could be a wonderful book children would enjoy reading.
Was this review helpful?
I really love the message that this book means to portray to young readers.  I love idea of revamping the old parables.  Both the words and pictures are beautiful however the writing seems to  surpass its intended audience.  I fear that because so much would need to be explained to the children reading/listening that the message may end up overlooked or misunderstood.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
While the illustrations were good, this was probably the wost children's book I have ever read. It needs to be shorter with less text and geared more towards kids.
Was this review helpful?
I received an arc of this title from NetGalley for an honest review. While the illustrations in the book are excellent, the message is too heavy and written in a way that will pass right over the heads of young readers.
Was this review helpful?
A conversation about swimming between a fish and the Great Sea.

Cute story about a fish who puts too much thought into swimming and forgets how.  He thinks he will fall like a stone unless he can catch his tail.  After many tries, the Great Sea steps in to ask the fish what he is doing.  Once the fish knows that the Great Sea holds him up and protects him, the little fish swims up and down, to the left and right, with joy.

This is a nice story about others looking out for you even when you don’t realize it.  The illustrations are pretty.  The only criticism I would have is that the author used the word “obtruded” in a children’s book. 

I received an ARC from Sounds True through NetGalley.  This in no way affects my opinion or rating of this book.  I am voluntarily submitting this review and am under no obligation to do so.
Was this review helpful?
First off I like the illustrations. They were really well done. What I didn't like was the message and overall tone. I don't think children are going to relate or understand this spiritual enlightenment theme. It's too heavy and too monotone for a children's picture book. It's themes are better for adults. Maybe if the text was more kid friendly or silly or fun in places it could have been appealing, but I think this will just go over their heads.
Was this review helpful?
Khoa Le's art is just gorgeous, really beautifully done.  The art speaks to a very young child, but hopefully can also hold interest for older kids, 8-12, because that is where the text literacy sits.  (Frankly it can sit for adults too, as that is whom this original old text was drafted for!)

Of course this is a book put together posthumously, as Mr. Watts has long ago left us.  His verbiage is flowery and filled with metaphor, if you hear his speeches still widely available, and that is what is recorded in text here.  It sounds exactly like one of his speeches.   I requested this book for review, because well, Alan Watts!

Someone should have edited this to allow a coherent age target, and for the art to match text.  Someone should have clipped smaller phrases from his old talks.  


Someone should have prepared an art and binding layout that would appeal to older children, even up to middle school age here, with words that would engage their mental curiosity and visual skills.

This is a mashup, art geared very young, text highly likely originally written or spoken to adults (!!).  (Perhaps Mr. Watts had a school audience at some point;  nevertheless this language is geared to middle school and higher, at minimum semi-aware older children with a very large vocabulary.)  I'm sure it will sell, but parents of small children will need to edit each paragraph (usually a couple of full paragraphs per page/image) to a single simple direct sentence.

A good scenario will be older kids reading to younger kids -- it would be the older child who would understand more of the message here, that we are as fish swimming in the sea not understanding the powerful currents we swim within, as they are basically invisible and thus their power not noticed.  Thus we have no awareness of the great power that carries us and aids us throughout our entire physical life.

Alan Watts was a huge thinker with vastly inspirational talks and writing.  Sounds True is a huge publisher of written and audio material and classes.  They do a lot of great work supporting messages that need saying in today's world.  They should consider reworking this, as works aimed to *all* the age groups of childhood are very much needed today, if we are to survive the next century.  Flowery adult language filled with metaphor is not going to hit a toddler or preschool child in direct fashion, at all.

*** I'll rate it 5 stars, but for the text and art SEPARATELY.
Put together I'd rate it 3 stars or lower.  But I just cannot put 3 stars for Alan Watts no matter what the editorial team has done here, and I cannot rate 3 stars for Khoa Le, such a strong artist who probably followed editorial direction for the age targeting.  So it is 5 stars with caveat.

Thank you to NetGalley and to Sounds True publishing for an ARC for review.  This is my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Great illustrations!  But I could not even finish the story.  I'm not sure how well it would capture a child's attention, and the prose feels like it was written for a literary novel.
Was this review helpful?
I find myself very torn writing this review. The art work is truly stunning and I would definitely be interested in reading anything else Khoa Le illustrated. Alan Watt's has also created a clever spiritual metaphor in this book. However, I found the language too mature for picture book age children (words like monotonous and phrases like "the fish waited to die"). If an adult was looking for a beautiful gift/keepsake version of Alan's parable, this would be nice. But I'm afraid, I can't recommend it for young children.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. I am a bit confused with this book. Let me start with the illustrations, which in my opinion are just super and really give life to the story. The book itself is supposed to be a picture book and this aimed at young readers, but while the illustrations are great and the life parables are super, the language is a bit difficult for that intended age. I think this is a good book for parents to read with their kids and explain the deeper meanings within the book.
Was this review helpful?
This was a cute little story that was read with my son during bedtime. It opened his mind to the curiosity of fish in the sea and How the ocean works
Was this review helpful?
The illustrations are absolutely beautiful, but they didn't match the words on the page. This is a children's book, but the text is quite a difficult read for the targeted audience.
Was this review helpful?
This was a book whose title was very eye-catching to me for how does a fish actually find the sea, especially if he is born there? Or is this possibly a freshwater fish who chose to tackle salt water for whatever reason? I guess you have to read it to find out....

 Anyway what happens is this is more a spiritual/philosophical book than an actual children's book but put in an easier to digest format for older readers. Although this is quite unusual I actually prefer this selection over those that tackle numerous philosophical topics all in a novel of 200+ pages, which ends up making that type of read more confusing and dull. Even though it is still word heavy for very young readers it isn't overly wordy for getting the message across. 

 As for the story itself it explores what happens when the human creature takes itself off of Autopilot and starts to question the strange world around itself. When you start exploring to find yourself how do you respond to the experiences you cannot explain - fearful, anxious, open to learning, growth, all of the above?

 The illustrations are amazingly done, brightly colored even for the darkest aspects and very detailed. I wasn't a fan of the little fish's eyes but they are only just one small detail when compared to the beauty found in the whole page.
 And although the book is spiritual by nature there is no claiming suggestion as to whether the Great Sea is God, Allah, Buddha, the Great Divine, etc. thus it is quite a flexible book for any and all readers.

 This is definitely one book I would call a keeper and would recommend for those who are starting to question the world around themselves.

 ***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review***
Was this review helpful?
This picture book is marketed as a ‘delightful and wise teaching parable… about getting into harmony with the flow of life’ and the metaphorical nature of the story is clear from the very beginning. Unfortunately, with the exception of the stunning art work by the incredibly talented Khoa Le, I’m really not sure that the story will engage children. Indeed, I think the message is too mature for children, and the language too clunky for adults. It fell flat for me I’m afraid.

I would like to thank both Net Galley and Sounds True Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A book that stands alone as art.  My favorite kind of children's literature.    The story is a gentle retelling of parables the world over, for me a recasting of the footprints in the sand, in which a single being begins to feel that they alone are the creator of their destiny and therefore their only saving in times of trouble.  While this book does not reference God but a greater being, the retelling works for readers that are faith-based and those that are not.  The telling is deftly crafted to be uplifting and reassuring and never heavy-handed.  A great book to own, or to give and so calming and reassuring in the times we find ourselves in currently.  This book would be a great graduation gift, as well as many other "big transition in life" moments.
Was this review helpful?
In this tale of a tail, we meet a fish with a curiously familiar problem—he’s gotten himself so mixed up that he spends all his time chasing himself in circles! Only the Great Sea knows how to help our poor fish get out of the mess he’s created with his own runaway thoughts.

This is supposed to be a children's picture book, but the language is far too advanced for the intended audience. The message is good and the art is amazing, but this is not a kid's story.
Was this review helpful?
The illustrations were amazing but the words them self did nothing for me. I don't think the art matched the words. The concept of the story was ok but just not executed in a way that I feel kids would understand or enjoy.
Was this review helpful?
Alan Watts writes a lovely story about a fish who finds himself stuck in quite a dilemma, With strong spiritual undertones, The Fish Who Found the Sea is a beautifully illustrated story with the underlying lesson that one cannot spend life chasing their own happiness, they must let go and exist peacefully in order to see all the greatness that is already present all around them. 

Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to access this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
The Fish Who Found the Sea is about a mixed-up little fish that suddenly finds himself out of sorts, falling and spinning and chasing himself in circles. He feels like it will go on like that forever. Will he find a way to go with the flow again? 

This book is gorgeously illustrated with bright colors and has a painting-like quality that I was in awe of. Ocean lovers will especially enjoy the underwater artwork by Khoa Le. 
The story is lyrical and makes a good read-aloud. There's also a happy ending!

My little listener enjoyed the art but wasn't very interested in the story. I think this may be because this book is a bit lengthy with small text and has themes that might not be entirely clear to children. There are a lot of intellectually advanced words (like obtruded) and concepts included that I think young readers and listeners will struggle to understand and follow. 

I wasn't familiar with the author or this book prior to reading this but have since learned that he brought philosophy and religion to the West in the form of 'zen', or Buddhism, before dying in 1975.
Was this review helpful?
I read this book a couple of times trying to decide if I liked the subtle spiritual message contained within in a parable format or if I preferred a more direct approach. I've decided that I do like this story because while it can be adapted to any faith, the parable will work as a way to show kids they often have outside influences that they seldom see.

The story itself was very cute and the artwork very beautiful. I think this book would appeal to any child. 

This book was provided to me in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?