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Memoirs of a Goldfish Hardcover – April 1, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 152 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Devin Scillian is an award-winning author and Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist. He has written more than 10 books with Sleeping Bear Press, including the bestselling A is for America: An American Alphabet and Brewster the Rooster. Devin lives in Michigan and anchors the news for WDIV-TV in Detroit.

Early in his career Tim Bowers worked for Hallmark Cards, helping to launch the Shoebox Greetings card line. He has illustrated more than 25 children’s books, garnering such awards as the Chicago Public Library’s “Best of the Best” list. He also illustrated the widely popular First Dog. Tim lives in Granville, Ohio.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 4
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585365076
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585365074
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a lovely, bright, and whimsical picture book. Since my favorite genre at the moment is memoir, I loved the play on that genre -- a picture book that is set up as a goldfish's diary.

"Day One: I swam around my bowl.

Day Two: I swam around my bowl. Twice."

That's how the goldfish's diary begins, but it doesn't stay boring for long. Soon his bowl is overcrowded with stuff and other creatures, and he has to stake his claim on "his tank."

My 6-year-old son doesn't generally get stuck on a particular book, but we read this book twice. Then he kept it beside his bed and was reading it in the mornings himself. Then his dad read it to him.

We all give it two thumbs up. It's cute and clever and fun. According to the jacket flap, "Time away from his new companions gives him a chance to rethink the pros and cons of a solitary life. And discover what he's been missing."

Yes, there is a little bit of a moral there, but it's not shoved down the reader's throat. And does it need to be? No, it stands alone as a sometimes sweet and sometimes silly tale.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Today most picture books are all about the art--devoid of any memorable or moving story. "Memoir of a Goldfish" is that rare find that combines incredible art with a humorous and heartwarming tale. The expression of the goldfish's eyes speak volumes, yet the text holds it own--the kind of story readers will remember, revisit, and share. I loved this book so much I immediately shared it with someone standing near me in the bookstore. Kinda creepy, I know . . . but I couldn't help it. I hope more picture book authors learn the art of storytelling like this author. Young readers deserve more books like this. What a fun read!
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Format: Hardcover
This book caught my attention right away and I enjoyed the story a lot. A goldfish lives a solitary existence in a small, boring bowl. Soon, he's joined by a tankmate or two: first a diving man bubbler, then some plants, next a snail named Mervin. The goldfish's deadpan delivery comes across in lines like these:

"Day Five.
Mr. Bubbles still hasn't said a word.
He just looks at me. I said 'Hello' today.
And he said, "Ggggllllggggllll."
He's creepy."

Pretty soon they're joined by a crab, a glamorous angelfish, a sunken pirate ship and two guppies (with more on the way). The goldfish can't wait to get out of there, but when he's transferred to a new bowl, he finds he misses the whole crazy crew after all. And he's super relieved to be returned to them... this time in a huge new aquarium, with a new friend, Gracie, another goldfish. Pair this book with any version of the Jewish folktale Too Much Noise for a humorous look at how sometimes the people that drive you nutty are the people you want around the most.
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Format: Hardcover
Memoirs of a Goldfish is a beautiful story written about a goldfish who learns the simple lesson in life, it is better to be surrounded by the love of your friends and family then to swim through life on your own. It is beautifully written for a child to enjoy (my 3 year old loves Mr. Bubbles) along with teaching a wonderful life lesson. The illustration of the story is just great!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have purchased 3 other of Scillian's books before so I was sure I would like this one too. And while it is quite different than the other ones I have, this one is also
fantastic, and probably my favorite.

The little goldfish in the story is very human-like. He is in a goldfish bowl, all by himself, he is lonely and bored. A "toy/boy" in a diving suit arrives. Goldfish is very leery.
Then some plastic plants enter the picture "I guess I'll have to water them. Great." With each addition, he gets crankier. Finally by day 12, he hollers "This is my bowl. I want
my bowl back!" He eventually gets his wish, as the others are taken out of the bowl and put into a bigger aquarium. He was contented for a little while, but soon was lonely again.
And he began to worry about the others and he even asked himself "Does anyone miss me?" I don't want to give away the ending :>) but it is resolved happily.

And kudos to the illustrator. I haven't seen such a fine example of expressions on little storybook animals since Lynn Munsinger's critters in "Don't Need Friends" which co-incidentally has
a similar theme.
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Format: Hardcover
Memoir of a Goldfish is simply said, Wonderful! Beautifully illustrated! We are introduced to a clever little goldfish that loves his simple lifestyle. He recounts 14 days of his life that start out simply as, "Day One... I swam around my bowl". But life even for a goldfish can get complicated and as the simple little bowl that serves as his home starts to fill up with other "fishbowl" items, such as Mr. Bubbles the scuba diver, Mervin the disgusting snail, and plants which he know he's going to have to "water now", the little goldfish laments for the simple solitary life he once had- until his wish comes true and he then realizes being alone isn't really as nice as all that. A sweet choice for children, but the adults in my household loved the story too!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
the fish in the tank is all by himself...just swimming around day to day. then more and more company is inserted into his tank and his world is turned into chaos. he wishes for the days when he had all the space to himself. finally one day, he gets just that. and he realizes he liked all his new neighbors and even all the chaos. sort of a 'be careful what you wish for' lesson. he does get all his friends back, and a brand new spankin bigger tank. even finds love <3 .... nice story. my nephew was able to follow along very well and in the end i asked him to give me a verbal book report and he recalled it all fabulously. cute cute story...wonderful pictures.
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