What can we learn from a rainbow-colored fish that could not swim? More than you could ever imagine in children’s author Don Levinson’s charming tale that is filled with vital life lessons for both young people and adults.
Ferdy The Fish: The Fish That Could Not Swim, as imagined by Philadelphia-based children’s author Levinson is the perfect story for these troubled times of the Coronavirus pandemic. “One of my inspirations for Ferdy was a dog that I saw,” the creative author explained. “The dog was missing one of his front legs, yet he was walking the best he could and playing with a canine pal.”
This started Levenson, who is extremely kind-hearted, thinking that, “when Ferdy gets up in the morning he doesn’t focus on only have three legs, so I am going to have a bad day. He gets up and does the best he can with what he has; just like Ferdy.” The important message here is “that friends can come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. The audience for my book is parents, grandparents, teachers, and the children that they will put on their laps, or connect another way, and read to.”
At a time when our differences have divided small towns and big cities, this book emphasizes major values of acceptance, of ourselves as well as others.
“Although he cannot swim, Ferdy does not let that bother him and uses his brain to help everyone around him. He finds a way of using his disabilities to his advantage. It teaches all of us that we can usually find a way to help someone and it can be as simple as smiling at someone to brighten his or her day.”
You can learn from Ferdy that even though he cannot swim – an obvious challenge for a fish — he still loves his life in the sea. He will do whatever he has to help his friends have a great day.
The Ferdy stories all end with, “This was a great day for Ferdy the Fish – The Fish That Could Not Swim. Everyone wants to have a great day but you have to do something to make it a great day!”
Levenson sees COIVD-19 as a great example of the kinds of struggle that we have to deal with. “As the stories continue you get to see how great a friend can be. Ferdy and Jake form a great friendship go on many journeys.” he said. “In life, there are always going to be struggles that we have to deal with. This COVID-19 pandemic is a good example. You have to be ready to handle what life gives you. A good friend can always help.”
A major life lesson for children and adults is that “you should never pre-judge anyone. You never know when you will need their help. It can be something as small as helping someone find a lost object or as big as saving someone’s life.”
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