One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish Review
Written by: Victoria and Elizabeth Kann
Illustrated by: Victoria Kann
Age Range: 2 and up
“Pinkalicious” is a New York Times bestselling book about a young girl who enjoys eating pink cupcakes. As we all know (and if you’re me, tend to forget during the holiday season), eating too many sweets has negative consequences. Ignoring her parents and their commands, the young girl eats far too many cupcakes and ends up turning pink. Seriously, what was in those cupcakes?
The father somehow believes that the young girl became pink from head to toe by playing with markers, so he gives her a bath with industrial grade soap (that doesn’t sound safe…). Needless to say, the pink does not come off. The mother takes the girl to Dr. Wink who tells her she needs to eat a steady diet of green food to return to normal.
After getting swarmed by a delightful piece of alliteration at the park (birds and butterflies and bees, oh my!), the young girl returns home. The girl yet again ignores the advice and commands of the adults in the story and doesn’t eat green food for dinner. Afterwards, she steals another pink cupcake and turns red.
Since she doesn’t want to be red, she eventually manages to eat some green foods and turn back to normal. Her dad asks where the rest of the cupcakes went. The book ends with her younger brother Peter, now pink, having eaten all the cupcakes.
What Worked For Me
The mom in the story had a good line that children could remember and maybe even take to heart. The girl asks for another cupcake and the mother says to her “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.” It could have been reinforced more throughout the story, but I’m glad it was said.
There was a sentence when the child in the park that surprised me with alliteration. I love alliteration, so it made me smile when I read it.
By looking at the cover, one might think the story is about a princess. The book is not a princess book, and I think that’s a good thing. The girl in the story has some spunk.
What Didn’t Work For Me
The girl in the story is disobedient and keeps breaking rules. I’m fine with books showing kids misbehaving, but I’m a believer that in the end a book should demonstrate good behavior and reinforce that. This book missed every opportunity to do so.
The parents in the book were made to be a little too naive for me. They weren’t monitoring how many sweets their kids were eating. I didn’t enjoy that. The book also showed the girl stealing cupcakes. That action had a consequence (sort of), but I didn’t enjoy that either. There’s a trend within children’s books and television programs where the children are written to be smarter than their dimwitted parents. This sends the wrong message to kids. This book isn’t as guilty of this as some others, but the message is still there.
This may not come as a surprise, but the book is incredibly pink. Perhaps a bit too pink. The interior of the home is mostly pink. The exterior of the house is pink. Did her parents allow her to choose the color of the house? I would have liked to see more variety in the illustrations. Yes, the book is about the color pink, but its use is excessive. It just didn’t work for me.
The book framed eating green vegetables as a horrible chore. Vegetables have enough going against them when it comes to their perception with kids (and let’s face it, some of us adults too). Showing the girl actually liking the vegetables, even if she’s surprised that she likes them, would have been a good move here.
As you’ll hear me say a lot, I like to look at a book the same way I look at a food item in my diet. What’s the nutritional value? This book doesn’t have very much. It doesn’t create wonder for children to want to know what happens on the next page. The illustrations don’t promote and encourage children to make inferences based on what’s visually on the page.
After reading the book, I’m not exactly certain what the lesson of the book is. It could very well be that no lesson was intended, which is fine. Not every book needs to have a lesson to teach.
Here’s the metric I use: When you’re a parent and your child asks to read this book 3 or more days in a row, how likely are you to want to jump head first through a wall?
I found myself really not wanting to re-read this book multiple days in a row. Perhaps to the disappointment of your child, you may want to pick a different book instead of re-reading this one.
If you have a little girl, chances are they already want everything to be pink all the time. You’ll get tired of this book very quickly for multiple reasons.
The cover art and subject matter around cupcakes will have 3 year old girls everywhere fully bought in. It doesn’t really teach any lessons and at times appears to encourage the wrong type of behavior.
The illustrations are fine but don’t really spark curiosity or intrigue. Your kids may end up loving this book. You, the parent, will probably not love this book.
In the end, there are many other books I would choose to read to my kids before selecting this one.
So, where do you stand? Love this book? Not your favorite? Would love to hear your thoughts about it!
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