Literature To Crafts: The Fish With The Deep Sea Smile

It’s been absolutely ages since we’ve had a chance to read a story and do crafts from it, but the opportunity presented itself today and I grabbed it with both hands.

A few weeks ago we were going to make an ocean diorama, so we painted out a box in shades of blue and green. Our plans didn’t quite work out – my girls aren’t fond of colouring, what’s that about? – so we abandoned it, but I still had the box, in hope.

We read The Fish With The Deep Sea Smile by Margaret Wise Brown (currently £5.16 at Amazon UK/$7 Amazon US), which is a story about … well, endurance, I guess, because I couldn’t really find many other lessons in it. But endurance is a valuable skill and in this story, the fisherman search high and low for a fish with a ‘Deep Sea Smile’. They don’t find one for ages, but come across many other fish in the meantime: there’s one with a strong jaw, one with an electric tail, one with eyes on sticks, one with terrible claws and even one with a laughing eye.

The Fish With The Deep Sea Smile

The ability to see something through, in this case finding the fish they were looking for, is valuable, and uncommon in our quick-win society, so I think it’s a great life skill to talk about.

I also love the illustrations in this story. They are done by Henry Fisher, and if I was to have a book illustrated, I’d love him to do it. They are so beautifully done. The pictures don’t really do it justice – especially the electric fish (second on the right below).

The Fish With The Deep Sea Smile

To bring our book to life, I cut the parts of the fish from coloured paper, and put the different parts of the fish together in piles so the girls could ‘build’ their fish from the given parts.

The Fish With The Deep Sea Smile

I must say that I love our finished product. In all honesty I’m  not always ‘yay’ about the crafts we do, and we’ll keep them on display for a while before letting them ‘disappear’. I really do like this ocean diorama though. I have no idea where we’ll keep it, but it’s cute, bright, colourful and the fish are so friendly and fun.

It’s a great reminder of the story, which the girls thoroughly enjoyed.

The Fish With The Deep Sea Smile

*We received this book as part of the Parragon Book Buddies program. You can find Parragon Books on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. You can find this book on Amazon UK here or Amazon US here.

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Skills - Learn to Read Skills - Imagination Skills - CreativitySkills - Fine MotorSkills - Hand Eye Coordination

Lemon And Caper Fish On The BBQ Recipe

As you can tell from the severe lack of posting around here, life is keeping me extremely busy. I’m so far behind on posting so many different things, and I’m not even sure what exactly it is that’s changed! For one thing, the girls just don’t afford me time in the day to work, since they’ve unsynchronised their naps. Then, when they’re finally in bed, I’m so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. It’s a nightmare, and I know it will change again, but for now, well… I’ll see you when I see you!

That said – we’ve had such lovely weather the last few days that we took lunch outside today, and it was so great I wanted to share it with you.

(We have this great picnic gas barbeque which means we can cook pretty much immediately. I’m a huge lover of bbq but we rarely have them because it just takes forever to get the fire ready, so since the gas bbq, it’s so much easier! This recipe can be done on either the bbq or in the oven.)

Ingredients:

For the fish:
1 whole trout, cleaned
Coarse salt
Pepper
Lemon
Capers (optional)
For the potatoes:
Thinly slices potatoes
Paprika
White wine vinegar
Salt
Pepper

Serve with salad of your choice.  Ours was rocket and spinach leaves with mixed seeds and tomato, with a truffle oil and balsamic vinegar dressing
For the fish:

  • Placed the clean trout in foil big enough to cover the fish and create a parcel
  •  Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice from one half, and slice the other half
  • Add the salt, lemon juice and lemon slices on the fish
  • Fold the foil to create a parcel.
  • Place on a low heat bbq for 15 minutes or so, depending on the size of your Trout.
For the potatoes:
  • Heat up a little bit of oil (we used olive) and spread the potatoes evenly over the frying pan.
  • Shallow fry the thin slices, adding the seasoning as it turns crispy.
  • Just before taking it off, splash some white wine vinegar, just to flavour, not enough to boil.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper
Serve with salad and a good, refreshing glass of white wine, preferably outdoors, soaking up the last of the summer sun.