Everyone knows that watching fish swim in a nice, calm fishbowl can help take your mind off your troubles. But what if the fish you’re watching has troubles of its own?
There’s trouble indeed in author Devin Scillian’s clever 2010 picture book, Memoirs of a Goldfish, and readers learn just how trying an unassuming little goldfish’s day can be.
The book opens to a self-possessed little goldfish minding its own business as it chronicles its life in a goldfish diary:
Day One: I swam around my bowl.
Day Two: I swam around my bowl. Twice.
Daily life is spacious and full of watery goodness, until Day Four, when a mute deep-sea-diving stranger with bubbles coming out of his head arrives. The little goldfish tries to be friendly and says hello, but the diver just blows bubbles in his face.
By the time Day Seven arrives, there is a new kid – make that snail – on the block who calls himself Mervin and proclaims his love for the green slime on the side of the bowl. Then the bowl becomes more and more crowded as a crab, an Angelfish, and two guppies move in!
Life isn’t so good anymore and the goldfish wants his bowl and his space back. But when he gets his wish and his bowl-mates suddenly disappear, he realizes he doesn’t like being alone so much anymore.
Memoirs of a Goldfish is a clever book about making room for new friends and new adventures. Mr. Scillian’s sentences are just short enough and sweet enough to keep pre-kindergarteners planted in front of the goldfish bowl to the very end of the book.
Artist Tim Bowers’ illustrations bring a special magic to the goldfish’s story. His deep, rich colors are a feast for the eyes, and his hilarious, google-eyed sketches of the occupants in the over-crowded fish bowl will keep children and their parents smiling long after the last page has been turned.
This sweet book can be used to teach friendship, socialization, and the need to belong. It can even give young children a clear, bubble-eyed example of just what is necessary to keep aquarium fish healthy and happy.
Welcome to ReBook-It, little goldfish. Enjoy your stay!
Best wishes and happy fishbowls,