Rainbow Fish and the Story­teller

­NorthSouth. Oct. 2022. 32p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9780735845008.
PreS-K–Rainbow Fish is back in this new tale about a subject relevant to this age group—fibs and exaggerations. When Humbert, a new fish on the block, tells a story about a grumpy fish who might pull a plug that will drain the ocean, Rainbow Fish is skeptical. Why would a fish want to drain the ocean? Rainbow Fish and his friends confront Humbert, but he’s already telling a new tale—this one about mean fish who want to take over their territory. The friends quickly come to understand that the stories are lies, and they begin avoiding Humbert. When Rainbow Fish sees Humbert all alone, he crafts a positive solution for this imaginative newcomer: Humbert becomes the official resident storyteller. The story and illustrations fall a bit flat; there are no real consequences to Humbert’s telling tall tales as the lies are never truly believed, and the ending is pat. The characteristic foil scales and occasional punches of red and orange add some visual interest to an otherwise blue-green dominated seascape.
VERDICT The familiar characters taking on an unusual topic make this a book to consider anywhere this series is popular.

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