Thursday, July 31, 2014

My Favorite Children's Books #3: The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish

Today is my dad's birthday, so I thought it was fitting to pick this book. :) He would probably rather be traded for 2 squirrels though. Also fitting, he shared his love for Neil Gaiman with me when I was a teenager and I am so glad he did. Happy birthday, Dad!

The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish
Written by Neil Gaiman
Pictures by Dave McKean

Two Goldfish (as I shall shorten it) is a cute little story about a boy who decides that his friend's 2 goldfish are so awesome that he must have them, at any cost. He offers him a variety of things, including baseball cards, books, a penny whistle, and Clownie the Clown. His friend wisely declines all of these offers. The boy sits and thinks and finally comes up with an outstanding offer...his father. The friend agrees and goes home happy with his trade.

When the boy's mother gets home, she is not quite so happy. In fact, she is a little peeved. She sends the boy out to retrieve his father and return the 2 goldfish. Unfortunately, the friend decided that Dad wasn't such a great deal after all. "All he did was read the paper." So begins a string of trades that takes the boy and his younger sister all around town, trying to get their dad back. In the end, they realize that he really is "a very good daddy" and are glad to have him back.

The artwork is different for a children's book, but knowing the author, it works well with his style. It's an interesting mixture of drawing, watercolors, and some collage of real pictures (the goldfish in particular). Overall, a great book for younger children. Especially those who are feeling grumpy towards their parents or have a tendency to want to trade their possessions.

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