Looking for a book that will encourage self-confidence & self-belief in children? Then this is the perfect choice. Not only will the captivating artwork inspire, but the short meaningful texts offer reassurance as well as useful advice. "Only One You" by Lind Kranz is an ideal resource for celebrating individuality, & appreciating the diversity of the world around us.
The book focuses on Adri, a small fish whose parents decide that the time has come for them to share some wisdom with him. Alongside each wise message on every page are the gorgeously painted rockfish which perfectly depict the text. The book offers a plethora of helpful advice such as; "Find your own way, you don't have to follow the crowd. Blend in when you need to. Standout when you have the chance." At the end of the book Adri's parents remind him just how unique he is, & encourage him to swim off & make a difference in the world.
After reading this book with a group of young children they were inspired to create our own pebble fish, so with a selection of smooth pebbles & some acrylic paint they made a start on their creations. We used a pearlised acrylic paint which gave us a glossy bright finish when dry.
Once we had finished painting one side of the pebbles we left them to dry for an hour or so (depending on how much paint had been applied) & then we were ready to add the details. We left one side unpainted (I'll tell you why a little later) but you could of course paint the whole rock if you wished.
Inspired by the details of the fish in the book we used a sharpie marker to create a similar effect on our fish, drawing outlines around the different colours on each rock. This highlighted the different patterns & created a really bold finish. Some children chose to add more detail with the marker pen adding scales & patterns. Each fish was truly unique & beautiful.
To complete each pebble fish we added a googly eye.
Then they were ready to swim away together.
"Only One You" uses a variety of photographs as backdrops for the rockfish, so we printed off an underwater scene from the internet to use with our fish & suddenly our they were transformed!
Offering the children simple backdrops like this alongside the rockfish & the book gave them an opportunity to play, imagine, & create new stories, as well as explore some of the scenarios in the book.
And I almost forgot! Why did we purposely leave one side of each fish blank? Well the fish had a plain side so each child could write their name on their fish. Obviously this helped the children identify their creations, but the real reason for writing their name went a little deeper. After they had written their name on the fish we reminded them of their own uniqueness, their individuality, their gifts, & all they have to offer the world.
The rocks we used for the activity were smooth with no sharp edges & each was small enough to fit into the palm of a child's hand. We suggested that whenever there were times when they felt vulnerable, or uncomfortable, frustrated, or unhappy, or had problems with friendships at school, they could hold their rockfish in their hands & remember just how special they are, & all the qualities they have to offer. We encouraged them to remind themselves, there's only one you... & you can make a difference to our world!
I can't recommend this book enough, I just love all it has to offer children... & adults!
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