Cat and Fish By Joan Grant




Cat and Fish was first published in 2003, and was awarded ‘Picture Book of the Year’. It is a no-frills book about unlikely friendships and acceptance.


When Cat and Fish meet one night, they know nothing about one another except that they are completely different. ‘They came from different worlds, but they liked each other’s looks.’

They get to know each other and go on adventures, exploring each other’s worlds. They learn and experience new things and find a compromise where both can be happy; until their next adventure…

Why I Love It

First mention here, goes to the incredible illustrations by Neil Curtis. Drawn to resemble engravings, the illustrations are in black and white and almost entirely made up of small lines, or strokes. They are really something to look at and study and it would be great to have children recreate some of the images, or have a go at a similar style, themselves.

The other thing I love about this book is the underlying message: we are all different, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends.

Themes to discuss with your child

  • Differences
  • Similarities
  • Friendship
  • Acceptance
  • Adventure
  • Compromise
  • Sacrifice
  • Kindness and compassion
  • Art

Questions to ask your child

Before reading:
  • What do you think this book might be about?
  • Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
  • Is this a book you want to read? Why/Why not?
  • What do you think the gold medal on the cover, means? Does this influence the way you feel about reading the book?
  • Do you like the look of the illustrations? Why/Why not?
  • Who is pictured in the boat? Is this a likely pair?
  • What are they doing and what is unusual about what they are doing?
After reading:
  • Did you like this story? Why/Why not?
  • What do you think is the message of the story?
  • Do you think two people have to be just like each other in order to be friends?
  • What are some differences between you and your friends?
  • Where did Cat and Fish decide to live? Why do you think they chose this place?
  • What were some of the adventures they had?
  • What do you think they learnt about themselves and each other on these adventures?
  • Where would you like to go on an adventure?

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