Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish by Neil Gaiman | Storybook Sunday

What a weird little book.

Book Description

What if you wanted your best friend's two goldfish so much that you'd swap anything for them, even your father?

What if your mother came home and found out what you'd done?

The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish is a hilarious adventure and was the first book for younger readers from the acclaimed author and illustrator of the New York Times best-sellers The Wolves in the Walls and Coraline. Chosen as one of Newsweek magazine's Best Children's Books of the Year, The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish is beloved by readers of all ages. This new edition features brand-new jacket art and an afterword by the author on the origins of this unique and wonderfully funny story.


The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish is Neil Gaiman's first children's book. The main character and his little sister are playing out in the yard when a friend arrives with a goldfish bowl. Inside the bowl are too very gold goldfish. "I'll swap you for them," says the MC. He names a list of things he can swap before he has a big idea to swap his dad.

"I'll swap you my dad," I said.
"Oh-oh," said my little sister.

It's a great swap until his mom comes home. Whoops. The MC has to trade the goldfish back for his dad, but he finds out his dad has been traded again and again amongst the children.

It's a cute story, but it's kind of strange. The dad just gets passed from kid to kid. On one hand, I see the correlation to dads who sit at home and read the paper without paying much attention to the family, but there was no real need to have the dad back other than to please the mom so she would feed them their dinner. I've never been of the mind set that children's books need to teach values, but a piece of that was missing here for me even though it was told through the perspective of a child.

That being said, there was plenty to make me smile, especially the very end. I grew a little tired of all the items that were traded for their dad, but the ending was cute. This is a good book to keep an eye out for at the library.

6/10: Good Read


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