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Fire Fish (Invisible Tails) by Davy Liu
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Fire Fish (Invisible Tails)

by Davy Liu

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Reviewed by Me for Kids @ TeensReadToo.com

When three small perch siblings - Sarai, Sesom, and RaaOn - are separated from their parents, they face danger at every turn. They safely reach the Turtle Pool only to face a tricky eel in a dark tunnel and, later, a pack of Great Whites at the Big Blue.

It's only by putting their trust in the Finmaker and calling on his help that they are rescued in the end by the actions of the Fire Fish.

Although children with a Christian background will easily recognize the parable of the story - the Finmaker as God, the Fire Fish as angels, and the deliverance in the Big Blue as the parting of the Red Sea - it's not necessary to enjoy this wonderful story.

And the story is wonderful - but it's not the best part. Davy Liu's full-color illustrations are amazing. Spectacular color, intriguing details, and wondrous visuals make FIRE FISH come to life and only add strength to the message of the story.

This is the perfect book for a bedtime story, for a lesson on putting your faith in God's hands, or just as a reassurance to any young child that someone is always there, watching over them to keep them safe. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 10, 2009 |
On the cutting edge of Christian children’s literature, author/illustrator Davy Liu combines tales from the lives of animals present at major biblical events with sophisticated digital imagery. A veteran animator with Disney, George Lucas and Warner Bros. his experience shines through in illustrations that today’s media-savvy children will easily sympathize with.

Fire Fish is the story of three perch, Sarai, Sesom and RaaOn, unusual names that will make any reading parent’s tongue stumble. The perch children share their parents simple faith that the Finmaker made them steady swimmers. When the perch parents are taken up in a net, the three little fish turn to their faith in the Finmaker, learning to call upon Him in the wake of the distressing separation from their parents. Though the fish siblings encounter dangers and trials, they put their faith in the Finmaker, trusting in Him and His response to their calls to save them from situations beyond their control.

Woven throughout the story of these simple fish are veiled references to the biblical account of the events surrounding Moses’ birth and the exodus from Egypt. Some of these references are quite well hidden, creating some confusion when certain events are inserted into the story. It was only on my second time through that I understood why the mentions of “lovely food” in the morning were included.

The recommended age range for the series is 9 – 12 years of age, likely due to the subtlety with which the biblical inferences are inserted. Younger children will perceive this tale as a simple tale of a fish family’s trust in their God and the rewards that faith brings. As my five year old said, “Mommy, are these fish Christian fish?” Younger readers will benefit from parental exposition as the book is read, pointing out the biblical events as the fish experience them in their own small world.

The underwater world that Sarai, Sesom and RaaOn inhabit is skillfully rendered in a wide variety of moods that match the story, from neutral greens to murky dark shades that transform into brilliant, sparkling blues. Highly stylistic design elements and presentation paired with artistic, flowing backgrounds and seascapes contrast sharply with the cartoonish, nearly comical visage of the main characters. It’s quite unusual to see a fish that could be straight out of a Saturday morning cartoon appear in the midst of such splendidly illustrated pages – but there they are.

Once the little fish reach the “Big Blue” or Red Sea as we know it, I was amazed at the diversity present amongst the sea life. Feeling some disbelief that such a variety of creatures live in the Red Sea I did some speedy internet research. My doubts were unfounded; the Red Sea is home to a vast array of swimming, floating and crawling inhabitants. Liu has done his research well, and certainly knows more about the local wildlife than do I.

While the little perch family and their new-found friends experience a happy ending, perceptive readers will close this book with a lingering sense of awe, and of remaining questions. What exactly are the mysterious fire fish, and where exactly is the Bright Beyond? Clever readers will be able to guess, but no firm answers are written into the story. Liu’s work clearly exhibits more layers than the average children’s picture book and will engage readers of all ages.

Liu established Kendu Films to publish nine books in the Invisible Tails series over 12 years; Fire Fish is the second, preceded by The Giant Leaf. Our family will be looking forward to future installments in the series.

Reviewed at http://quiverfullfamily.com ( )
  jenniferbogart | Sep 24, 2008 |
As a children's book, it succeeds. As a corrollary in any way to the Biblical book of Exodus, it does not. Surely it is a tale of fears and faith and the champion perch fish is Sesom (Moses spelled backward for those less observent), goes on a journey to find the mother and father perch who were caught in a net. Sesom and his siblings are threatened by an eel, great white sharks, and are delivered by prayer to the Great Finnmaker, who parts the Big Blue to save them. Soi you have a backward Moses, a parting of the sea, and maybe the eel is Pharoah, but what is blazes does the Fire Fish represent? Burning bushes? I was going to give this one two stars, but doubled that becasue the illustrations of Mister Liu and quality of the story as childdren's fantasy is excellent. I'd read it to my kid. ( )
  andyray | Sep 1, 2008 |
My goodness, what a throughly enjoyable children's story!! I loved every second of it. The animation was breathtakingly beautiful and was obviously done by someone who is extremely talented. This is the story of three little fishes, Sarai, RaaOn and Sesom, who learn the lessons of fear and faith as they transverse the sometimes perilous waters that they live in. One of the greatest pleasures of these young fishes is watching the great fin race where the reward is "sweet lovely food". Sarai and her siblings fantasize about what it would be like to participate in the race and win this much desired bonus. But all of this is put on hold because her parents are caught in a net and she and her siblings have to find a way to secure their release. In this quest the three fishes will have their faith tested, make new friends and above all learn that being part of a loving family is one the greatest joys in life. This story is a "fishy" take on the Exodus tale but is so well done that even if you already know that story as many of us do, you still feel like this tale is fresh. I believe that both parents and children will feel enriched after reading this story and will be dazzled by the extremely gorgeous drawings that make this story come alive. I highly recommend this wonderful book and I can't wait to see what else the writer and animator has in store for his next project. ( )
  TrishNYC | Aug 8, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0615192335, Hardcover)

In this golden fable, three little fish, Sarai, RaaOn and Sesom, dare to embark on a grand and dangerous quest to find their hearts' desire. Their journey is inspired by the legend of the Fire Fish, mystical masters of the Bright Beyond.
Never more than a fin-flip away from deadly danger, they tumble from one breathtaking exploit to another, using the power of "the call" to guide them through a world bigger than they ever imagined.
A story of mythic power. There is a surprising twist to this fish tale that teaches timeless truth and ensures its future as a fireside classic.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:15 -0400)

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