From School Library Journal
Grade 1–4—A little boy who has a goldfish wants a dog and enumerates all the things a pup can do that a fish can't. His mom says, "'We'll see,'" which really means, 'NO.'" Finally, after looking "irritated but sorrowful," she says, "Well, if you can't have what you want, want what you have." The boy takes a look at his pet and soon finds that he can train it to catch sticks, climb steps, and wag its tail. The tone of the text will appeal to children, who will be familiar with the boy's attempts to manipulate his mother. The digitally rendered illustrations are hip and fresh, yet reminiscent of '50s modern. Readers will chuckle over the performing goldfish, who reads the paper when he's home alone. A winning combination of dog and fish, humor and hard work.—Susan E. Murray, Glendale Public Library, AZ
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A little boy who lives in a forty-fourth floor apartment has a goldfish, but he longs for a dog. His mother is not interested in his pleas: “If you can’t have what you want, why don’t you try wanting what you have?” And so, like Pygmalion, the boy begins to try to transform his goldfish, and in no time his pet is fetching sticks, wagging his tail, and taking walks in the park. Shields’ story is a familiar one, with a well-wrought predictability that young audiences will respond to. And Taylor’s digital artwork, with its midcentury decor, aqua and orange palette, and highly stylized figures, evokes both a specific, retro sensibility and a timeless quality. Together, text and art form an insouciant package that will entertain groups of young pet enthusiasts and comfort children longing for canine companionship. Preschool-Grade 2. --Thom Barthelmess