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A Fish Out of Water (Beginner Books) Hardcover – August 12, 1961

118 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Illus. in color. "Comic pictures show how the fish rapidly outgrows its bowl, a vase, a cook pot, a bathtub."--The New York Times.  

About the Author

Helen Palmer conducts extended workshops, seminars, and training sessions on the Enneagram in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the country. She is the author of 'The Enneagram --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 70L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; Edition edition (August 12, 1961)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394800230
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394800233
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jenni Froelich on February 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book as a child and now I'm having a wonderful time reading it with my son. This is a delightful story of a little boy who gets a fish and doesn't listen to Mr. Carp ( the pet shop owner) who tells him how to feed the fish. Of couse the little boy doesn't follow directions and finds out that bad things can happen when you don't follow to directions. Even though this book is over twenty years old the illustrations are not outdated. Great for anyone, but especially for kids who want a pet.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Rachel E. Watkins on January 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
My three year old son has loved this book to be read over and over and over since he was two. The subject, combined with the pictures can help a child develop expressive language. When the fish keeps getting bigger, and the boy goes through all that trouble trying to move his fish, Otto, into bigger and bigger containers, my son's eyes get big and he gasps and looks at me and says "Oh no!"
This is a delightfull tale of a little boy who feeds his fish too much, and the extremly silly, or dire(depending on your age how you see it) consequences. In the end, the pet store owner comes to the rescue after the police and firemen have done thier part to try to help get the fish more comfortable. A good lesson about listening to, and following instructions, and asking for help when you need it is within the story.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Rita on May 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If book devouring 3 yr old had a top ten list, this might be up there as number 9 or 10.....she has loved this book since she was about 2 yrs old and not only loves it but has transferred things from it to her everyday speech! Example: When she wants to stay up later then usual fro example , she says "Please Mommy, just so much and no more!" as quoted from the book..... also when I ask if she wants milk for example she says "Just a spot!"......and adds sometimes "You never know what can happen, you never know what!"
For awhile it WAS the bedtime book.....now we have gone on to other things but she never turns down this book if I ask her if she wants to read it....Mista KAR-p as she says in her NY accent.......
The downside of it being a bedtime book? It you want a SHORT story, this one is kinda long ....especially if you have a toddler you screams "AGAIN! AGAIN!" before you are even on the last page......: )
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Aaron van de Sande on August 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book could be rated one star or fives stars-- It's one star if you don't want to read it to your child 1,000 times. My 3 year had the entire book memorized, so first I read it to him and then he 'reads' it to himself. It's his favorite book. A good companion book is "Clifford, the Small Red Puppy" which describes how Clifford started out as the runt of the litter, and grows huge when the little girls asks him to grow bigger. Kids seem facinated by these 'getting bigger' stories.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sharilyn R. on October 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
We recently got a fish as a pet and my daughter was constantly wanting to feed it. I remembered this book from my childhood and got it to read to my daughter so that she might have an idea (although a little exaggerated) about what happens if you feed a fish too much. She loved the book and asks to read it again and again. And she doesn't ask to feed the fish all the time anymore!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I know that there are all sorts of fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm that all supposed to terrify little kids with stories about beasts in the woods and such. But when I look back on my childhood and recall the stories that gave me the wiggins, one of the books on that short list was "A Fish Out of Water" by Helen Palmer. Yes, this "I Can Read It All By Myself" book from the Cat in the Hat "Beginner Books" series with the illustrations by P.D. Eastman gave me the creeps. You see, this particular little tale has working in its favor a couple of scientific facts and I was reading this book at a time when our school class would go outside to watch the Mercury rockets take off from Cape Canaveral and we would go out to duck and cover in the school hallway during bomb drills. So it was clear to me at an early age how dangerous science could be.
The story in "A Fish out of Water" is quite simple. A young boy, not unlike myself except that he has long hair (relatively speaking in my case at that age), goes to the fish store and pick out a goldfish to purchase. The boy decides to call the fish Otto and is told by Mr. Carp the correct way to feed him: "When you feed a fish, never feed him a lot. So much and no more! Never more than a spot, or something may happen! You never know what!"
Of course the young boy does give Otto more than "so much" and he learns what happens when you feed a fish too much. One of the scientific principles here is that too much of good things can be very bad, especially is the good thing there is too much of is food for a fish. The other scientific principle is that goldfish tend to grow in size in proportion to the container in which they are contained.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B. Alton on January 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
WOW! What a great book for kids of all ages and sizes! I always have loved this book and I am now 46 and still love it! I'm a bit shocked that so many people my age did not have this book as a child, but I recommend it for their kids now. The story is timeless. It is for boys and girls and all fish lovers. It teaches a lesson that will carry on into the future. It is also very funny. Go out and get it!
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