Hook, Line and Sinker:
‘Opportunities, many times, are so small that we
glimpse them not and yet they are often the seeds
of great enterprises. Opportunities are also everywhere
and so you must always let your hook be hanging.
When you least expect it, a great fish will swim by.’
Picking up on Mandino’s words, it was a ‘great fish’ but not just one that caught
our eye—and they weren’t swimming by; rather we were driving by looking for
the house of play therapist, Josie Scott, at Baylys Beach—a holiday village on the
wild West Coast of Northland, New Zealand. The weather was blowing a gale and
my wife, Annie, and I were concentrating on Josie’s directions when we saw them;
great fish, adorning the walls of the Funky Fish Cafe. Opportunities are everywhere
and yes, they do arise at unexpected times.
As we chatted to Josie about publishing possibilities, we mentioned the ‘funky fish’.
Josie happened to say that she was good friends with one of the café’s founders, Kate,
who had created the wonderful array of fish characters on the café walls. So it came
to pass that we made contact with illustrator, Kate Northover. When we met, we
talked about the art Kate enjoyed and what sorts of illustrations she might be able to
provide to bring alive some of the ideas on Innovative Resources’ list of possible card
sets, and yes, we also talked about fish. Kate readily provided us with a handful of
delightful samples which soon had our office team chuckling as they enjoyed the gentle
humour in each picture.
However, before we could begin creating Funky Fish Feelings with Kate, dinosaurs
intervened. That is, we required an illustrator for a card set designed to appeal to young
children, entitled Can-Do Dinosaurs. We asked Kate to create some illustrations of
dinosaurs for Can-Do Dinosaurs; they hit the spot and these took priority over Funky
Fish Feelings. When the dinosaurs were in the bag, so to speak, the fish surfaced once again.
(Be warned, this booklet is a veritable bouillabaisse of bad puns, some of which may leave
you mentally shipwrecked.) As with most of the conversation-building card sets published
by St Luke’s Innovative Resources, Funky Fish Feelings took some 18 months to emerge,
but here they are at last, up from the murky depths to delight and enchant.
Talking about our feelings can be difficult. The card sets created by Innovative Resources use
a variety of visual metaphors to help give voice to those people, young and old, whose voices
have been silenced or whose voices remain unheard. If our Funky Fish Feelings cards can help
people to explore and describe some of the oceans of emotions experienced by us all from time
to time, they will have done their job.
Discovering Kate’s funky fish was a delightfully unexpected opportunity, and we have now
fallen for her community of water-world characters—hook, line and sinker.
So grab your fins, mask and snorkel and dive into our aquatic treasure trove!
Creative Director (at time of first publication)
St Luke’s Innovative Resources
Funky Fish ideas bank
Funky Fish blogs
Respectful Relationships – Sometimes Little Fish Need to Speak Up
Tools for helping kids manage emotions, build resilience and stay safe
Metaphor: the beating heart of communication