Tom's Christmas Fish - Story Snug
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Dec 10th: Sanne Dufft chooses Tom’s Christmas Fish

The Story: While Grandfather buys the Christmas tree, Tom offers to buy the fish (a carp, which is traditionally eaten for Christmas dinner in Prague where the story is set).

He buys a live fish at the market and carries it home in a plastic bag, calls it Peppo – and makes friends with it. His grandfather realizes that Peppo has become important to Tom and grants Peppo a wish for Christmas. Together Tom and Grandfather try to find out what Peppo’s Christmas wish might be, until they know they’ll have to bring him to the river and set him free.

Why is Tom’s Christmas Fish your favourite Christmas book?

I love the atmosphere in the images of wintry Prague as much as those of the interior scenes set in Grandfather’s flat. The story is just beautiful: A little boy and his grandfather preparing for their Christmas celebration together, treating one another (and Peppo, the fish) with respect and compassion.

Can you describe a favourite illustration or give a favourite quote from the story and tell us why you chose it.

Grandfather and Tom are having their Christmas dinner, while Peppo is in an aquarium on (!) the table. Tom realizes grandfather’s hands are shaking and he’s spilling a little bit of the soup. “Don’t worry about it”, Tom says, “Peppo can’t even hold a spoon.” – I just love the tenderness and empathy in this scene.

Author: Rita Törnqvist-Verschuur / Illustrator: Marit Törnqvist

About Sanne

Sanne Dufft - Story Snug

Sanne Dufft was born in Darmstadt, Germany. She studied Art Therapy in Nürtingen, Germany, and worked with children with a variety of special needs (and special gifts) in Northern Ireland. Back in beautiful Tübingen in the south of Germany, where she lives with her husband and three children, she has embarked on the adventure of illustrating and writing children’s books.

Sanne’s Website / Twitter

Which book is on your Christmas wishlist this year?

It is a picture book: Oliver Jeffer’s ’Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth’

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10 responses to “Dec 10th: Sanne Dufft chooses Tom’s Christmas Fish”

  1. Acorn Books avatar

    I haven’t seen this book before, it looks lovely and it’s always interesting to find about other people’s traditions. #readwithme

    1. Catherine avatar

      It does look interesting. I’m waiting for a copy to come into our library 🙂

  2. BookBairn avatar

    Loving the advent this year! #readwithme

    1. Catherine avatar

      Thank you and thank you for your great post 🙂

  3. chantelle hazelden avatar
    chantelle hazelden

    I’ve not heard of this one before, looks like a real classic though, will keep an eye out for it. Thanks for sharing with #readwithme

    1. Catherine avatar

      It looks lovely doesn’t it. I love the fact that several of our #StorySnugAdvent guests have recommended books that I have never heard of.

  4. Linda E.H. avatar

    I’d never heard of this book before. The story sounds nice. I’ll have to see if I can find it at our library.

    1. Catherine avatar

      We’re going to ask our librarian if we can borrow a German edition. We really want to read the story after Sanne’s lovely recommendation 🙂

  5. Debbie avatar

    Hi Catherine, what a lovely sounding book. I can imagine the little boy ‘bonding’ with Peppo and love the message behind the story. The kindness the Grandfather and Grandson show one another is something everyone should try to emulate!


    1. Catherine avatar

      It sounds like a wonderful story and Sanne’s post really makes me want to read it now 🙂