From a French author/artist team, this exemplifies both the simple, commonplace tales and the spurious, showy pictures that meet with more tolerance in Europe than here. It's about islander Fabian who wants to be a fish and frequently plays on the beach with his friends ""the haddock and the salmon, the herring and the mackerel. . ."" and six others whose names, with the first four, make up a sort of litany. At last, with the permission of great whale Watawakuda, Fabian collects a scale from each of them and fins from some and prepares to settle down in the deep sea--but, though his parents can't lure him back with gifts or scoldings, his father's promise never to catch fish again does. Held's ""art"" consists in frequently repeating not only the roster of Fabian's fish friends but also other, not particularly felicitous phrases (""And flip, flop, flap, he was gone and swam happily away""); and Laval's grainy, pretentious semi-abstractions in pretty crayola colors (turquoise, violet. . .) take the transformations--and themselves--far too seriously.