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The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish Hardcover – August 31, 2004
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“A bittersweet, guffaw-out-loud story from the most distinctive partnership in picture books today.” (The Guardian (UK))
“McKean is in peak form here, with dark, spiky graphics that somehow manage to convey both sweetness and menace.” (Washington Post)
“Leave it to Neil Gaiman to write a zany tale that’s swimmingly good.” (The Washington Missourian)
“An energetic, eye-catching volume.” (Publishers Weekly)
Top Customer Reviews
If you're like me, and have ever wondered what would have happened if your primal childhood urge to trade away your loved ones for cash and merchandise was realized you need look no further than Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean's new book, _The Day I Swapped My Dad for 2 Goldfish_. Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean are better known for their work in the comic book realm, giving all of us who are secret children's literature addicts a reasonable excuse to buy picture books (I'm just buying it because I'm a big fan, really).
As you may have grasped from the title, the story centres around a young boy who trades his dad for his friend's goldfish (personally, I think he made a bad trade; dads should be worth at least _three_ goldfish, and maybe one of those plastic diver guys). What makes the story special is the way in which it's told. The text is incorporated into the pictures, rather than being a separate narrative. The illustrations themselves were my favourite part of the book. I like pictures. Alot. I think there should be more pictures in adult books, but the publishing companies don't seem to agree with me. Dave McKean has illustrated the book in his classic semi-collage style, but without the darker elements that might frighten young children.Read more ›
"The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish" is a brilliantly illustrated adventure map that navigates the relative values and the strange economy of childhood. Neil Gaiman's lively text is written with that special children's logic and fresh humor found in classics like "Winnie-the-Pooh" and "Peter Pan," and the rich texture of Dave McKean's images--vivid line drawings and colorful montages--gives the story a look that is unique in children's literature. This book occupies a special place in my library with a very few picture books, like "Old Turtle" and "Little Hobbin," that I could never part with.
By any means necessary, no matter how old you are, read this book; even if you have to swap your favoritest family member for a copy. (I've heard Amazon does in fact accept this kind of bartering system)
The concept, a series of Dad swaps, may sound cutesy, but the execution is delightful and not the least bit saccharine or repetitive. The children's actions are nuanced in a charming yet realistic manner, and it's easy to freely accept the logic of the book because it is, in essence, child logic. The deadpan and earnest delivery really makes this story.
The layout is graphic novel, but you never get more than two horizontal panels a page. McKean's beautiful artwork suits the book to a tee. The drawings are primarily ink and what appears to be oil pastels, with occasional photographic images and newsprint worked in.
The reading level is probably 1st grade and above, but I'm not a child professional or a parent.
btw, I strongly suggest reading the author's note afterwards. It's quite interesting and explains a lot about the book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cute and funny. The kid really did swap the dad for two Goldfish.Published 27 days ago by Toni House
I love Neil Gaiman and this book does not disappoint!! love the art workPublished 29 days ago by K Beaty
My Son loves the way Neil Gaiman writes and the illustrations by Dave Mckean keep are beautiful!Published 1 month ago by Susan Jaramillo
I love this book and I've bought it for pretty much all of my cousins and kid's friends. The art is amazing, and the story is sweet and takes its time. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Lynn Jentes
Loved it. Neil Gaiman never fails to please. Such an awesome storyteller.Published 7 months ago by Sith Lord
My four year old loved it and his seven year old sister enjoyed listening as we read it.Published 7 months ago by Marc W. Davis
I bought this book for my daughter shortly after she was born and read it to her many times when she didn't yet understand an word of it. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Trent Knuckles