The Golden Fish contains a simple retelling of a folktale about a fisherman who catches a golden fish that can talk and grant wishes. The fisherman's wife is very greedy, so when he returns to tell her about the encounter, she berates him and makes him ask the fish for more and more, until she wants to be ruler of the sea and have the fish do her bidding. The characters, like in most folktales, are very one-dimensional, with the fisherman being hen-pecked and his wife being insatiable. I find this tale a bit harsh in its treatment of women, but it does have a clear moral about not being greedy.
The book is narrated only, without any interactive or animated elements. The rich colors of the illustrations pair nicely with the traditional retelling of this tale. The book's settings & controls are well thought out and it even begins with a help page. However, the "More" option on the title page takes you to their storefront for sales of additional books. If you manage to miss this feature on the first page, it is there again at the end of the book, with an arrowing blinking temptingly. This is not a huge deal but something to be aware of to prevent unwanted purchases.
This title is one of dozens of folktales available from AppleTree books. Their books are well made, even if they are simple and this one includes some fun extras. You can create a postcard of the Fisherman combined with a picture uploaded from your photos and then email it or even post it to your FB page. In addition, a simple set of puzzles is included using images from the book and adjustable to 3 levels of difficulty.
[iPhone versions are available for most of the titles from AppleTree books.]
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
10 - 15 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 5 - 10 +
This Russian fairytale, similar to Brother's Grimm, The Fisherman and His Wife, was first published in 1833 by Alexander Pushkin. The tale is about a fisherman who managed to catch a "Golden Fish" which promised to fulfill any wish of his in exchange for letting it go. The moral of the story is: do not get too greedy, or you will end up with nothing.
In this folktale an old man and woman have been living poorly for many years. They have a small hut, and every day the man goes out to fish. One day, he throws in his net and pulls out seaweed two times in succession, but on the third time he pulls out a golden fish. The fish pleads for its life, promising any wish in return. However, the old man does not want anything, and lets the fish go.
When he returns and tells his wife about the golden fish, she gets angry and tells her husband to go ask the fish for a new washboard (their washboard is broken), and the fish happily grants this small request. The next day, the wife asks for a new house, and the fish grants this also.
Then, in succession, the wife asks for a palace, to become the ruler of her province, to become the tsarina, and finally to become the Ruler of Sea, to subjugate the golden fish completely to her boundless will. As the man goes to ask for each item, the sea becomes more and more stormy, until the last request, where the man can hardly hear himself think.
When he asks that his wife be made the Ruler of the Sea, the fish cures her greed by putting her back in the old cottage and giving back the broken washboard. [Adapted from Wikipedia/The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish]