The Sea loves her fish children very much and reads to them every day. One day, when the fish are being especially loud, the Sea disappears in hope of some peace and quiet. At first the fish children enjoy the chance to misbehave, but become distraught when they realise they have no one to read them a bedtime story. An opportunistic cat promises to read them a story on the condition that they let it eat the fish afterwards. The fish are so desperate, they agree. It is only after their story has finished that the implications of their decision sinks in. They cry so profusely that their salty tears bring the Sea back, much to the disappointment of the cat. The Sea promises to teach her fish how to read so that if she ever needs a break again, the fish will be safe from harm.
Piret Raud is Estonia’s leading children’s book creator, and has been nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award twice, in 2020 and 2022. Her surreal story about the importance of reading and bedtime stories blends a highly imaginative narrative and illustrations with an empathetic understanding of the challenges of solo-parenting.