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The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish by…

The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish (1997)

by Neil Gaiman

Other authors: Dave McKean (Illustrator)

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Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
A perfect kids’ story. Enough repetition to get the (reader) (listener) eager to get to the end, and at the same time delighted by all the swaps and looking forward to all of them. ( )
  msladylib | Jun 11, 2018 |
The young boy-narrator of this amusing picture-book from author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Dave McKean, who have also collaborated on such titles as Coraline and The Wolves in the Walls, relates how he came to swap his newspaper-reading father for his friend Nathan's two goldfish. His younger sister, not unnaturally, predicts trouble, and sure enough, when the boy's mother comes home, he is made to take the goldfish back. Unfortunately, Nathan has since traded the father on, and boy and sister must set out on an ever-lengthening journey to retrieve him, tracing him through multiple swaps to multiple young people...

Apparently Gaiman made his children's book debut with The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, which put me strongly in mind of that folktale type in which the hero must make a series of exchanges, in order to obtain the desired object in the end. Classic Swedish author Elsa Beskow explored this idea (in a far, far sweeter way than here!) in her Pelle's New Suit. Despite the absurd premise, or perhaps because of it, I really enjoyed the story here, which, if you can suspend your disbelief, is an amusing tale indeed. McKean's artwork has his trademark creepy appeal, with a collage/mixed-media style that somehow works well with the story. The text here is quite extensive for a picture-book, so I would say that this one would work better for older, middle-grade readers. Recommended (of course!) to Neil Gaiman fans, and to anyone looking for more mature picture-books with a quirky, offbeat sense of humor. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jan 25, 2018 |
Brief Summary: A boy swaps his dad for two goldfish, but runs into trouble when his mother finds out.
Why I loved it: The story is quirky, logical, and the illustrations are so much fun
How to use in a classroom: create art on what they would swap for two goldfish

Award & Description: 2006 Best Books for Young Adults

Book Citation (APA): Gaiman, N., & McKean, D. (2004). The day I swapped my dad for two goldfish. New York: HarperCollins Children’s Books. ( )
  meganconser | Nov 28, 2016 |
Not for toddlers, despite that it looks like a picture book. Probably best of all for 9-10 yo boys who like to draw - especially if they have a little sister. Rather British, esp. the setting & cultural context, but I do think Americans and others would not really care, because after all it is a fantasy - so it's largely irrelevant whether you're familiar with this kind of a community or not.

I'm not sure *why* I liked it, as the plot is so implausible, the art is slightly nightmarish. I guess I totally empathized with the kid wanting to be able to improve his family by trading off Dad. And the art was appropriate, of course. The concept of a book as a complete work of art is catching on more and more, esp. w/ children's stories, and I love it. (Think [b:Chester|1703186|Chester|Mélanie Watt|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1255810749s/1703186.jpg|1700253] by [a:Mélanie Watt|308542|Mélanie Watt|http://www.goodreads.com/images/nophoto/nophoto-F-50x66.jpg] for a more upbeat take on the idea for younger children.) ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Dave McKean tell the story 'The Day I swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish.' A boy has the great idea to trade his dad for his friend's two goldfish. But his mother doesn't see it as such a great idea and makes the boy and his little sister trade back the two goldfish for their dad. Apparently, the boy isn't the only one who had the brilliant idea to trade the boy's dad. This takes the boy and his sister around town to get their dad back in a crazy and comical quest. ( )
  Jtreed | Mar 23, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaiman, Neilprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
McKean, DaveIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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One day my mom went out and left me at home with just my little sister and my dad.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060587016, Hardcover)

It's a graphic short story more than a traditional picture book, by a famous fantasy and comics team. From the front end-flap to the final Fin (and not excepting the copyright page), this is a witty, funny collaboration. Neil Gaiman's grasp of kid-narrative logic and Dave McKean's whimsical layered art tell the story of a dad who "doesn't pay much attention to anything, when reading his newspaper" and the narrator's brilliant idea of swapping him for something more interesting--and of course, the convoluted consequences.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:49 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

After trading his father for two goldfish, a boy and his little sister go on a rollicking adventure around town to get him back.

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