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The Little Black Fish

Book: The Little Black Fish by Samad Behrangi, translated by Azita Rassi

Ages: 7+

Relationship to country: This book is a classic Iranian children's book, translated into English

Book in a nutshell: A little black fish wants to explore where the river ends


 Today we read another book from Iran. The Little Black Fish was so special to his mother. Thousands of her baby fish and eggs had not survived, and Little Black Fish was her only baby. Every day, Little Black Fish and his mom would swim up, down, and around their little stream, going to the same places and seeing the same fish over and over. Little Black Fish wants to explore. He wants to know what is beyond his stream.

Little Black Fish jumps down a waterfall and escapes his stream. He sees so many different things once he leaves his stream, but many of the things that he sees are not safe. He meets a swordfish, seabirds, a pelican, a lizard, a crab, and more. Many of those creatures want to eat him. Little Black Fish was brave meeting all of those dangers. He never stopped wanting to keep going and to keep seeing new things. 

I think the lesson of the story is to explore and be brave and face dangers. We read that this book was banned in Iran. I thought that was strange. Why would a book about a fish be banned? At the back of the book, they explained that the book was banned because in Iran they didn't want people to go past their borders and to explore new countries and meet new people.