Day 22 – Tiddler: The story-telling fish

Despite encouragement nudging him in another direction (mummy!) T chose Tiddler: The story-telling fish, another collaboration between Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, for tonight’s bedtime read.

The book is about a young fish called Tiddler who is often late for school and arrives with tall tales excusing his poor punctuality. We have treasure finds and squid captures that divide Little Johnny Dory (who loves Tiddler’s stories) and his classmates.

One day, Tiddler is dawdling and dreaming up a story when he is captured by a fishing boat. Fortunately, his diminutive size sees the fisherman throw him back to sea where he finds himself lost. He hears one of his stories and manages to use various fish, who heard the story from someone else, to find his way home. The book ends with Little Johnny Dory telling Tiddler’s latest tale to a diving Julia Donaldson.

I have to be honest and say I didn’t think much of this book. The story didn’t flow with the pace and skill you now expect from Julia Donaldson and the half-hearted attempt at her now trademark rhyme didn’t really work at all. There were lots of smiley, very Axel Scheffler, illustrations that T enjoyed and the book would be very useful if you were learning fish names, and all the different characters does offer a chance to practise silly voices. Really though, the book was quite boring, the story offers nothing new or original and the ending is a total cop-out. 2/5

T told me he liked the pictures and that, “Tiddler is small.”

You can grab a copy and see if you agree or disagree by following this link –


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