The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish is a hilarious book based upon the following remark that the author’s son made to him as a young boy; “I wish I didn’t have a dad! I wish I had goldfish!” In this book the son decides that his dad is too boring and so he trades him to his friend Nathan for two goldfish. Soon, however, the boy’s mother comes home and demands that he leave and not come back until his goldfish and his dad are swapped back. The boy brings along his little sister and tries to trade the goldfish back to Nathan but Nathan has already swapped his dad for something else! The brother and sister duo then go on a journey in which they keep swapping things in an effort to get their dad back, and afterwards the boy realizes that while his dad is not such a good pet, “He’s a very good daddy.”
This wonderfully frank tale by Neil Gaiman will appeal best to ages 6-8 as it is written in the form of a graphic novel and may be more difficult for younger kids to follow. Dave McKean’s illustrations are excellent but also quirky and abstract which is another reason why this book is more suitable for older kids. Kids will relate to the sibling rivalry between the main characters as well as to wishing that they could also swap their parents for cool toys. This is a great storytime choice because it is very suspenseful and kids will exclaim at every page that the siblings find another toy instead of their dad. Other questions to consider asking kids at storytime is whether or not they have ever tried to swap an item for something else and you can ask if their swaps went as badly as that of our protagonists!
Check the WRL catalog for The Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish.