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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memoirs of a Goldfish, written by Devin Scillian and illustrated by Tim Bowers. Sleeping Bear Press, 2010. $17.95 ages 5 and up

"Day Three

I swam around my bowl.
I thought about taking a nap.
But fish don't sleep.
So I swam around my bowl."

With his bowl to himself and his simple routine, Goldfish enjoys his life. Then, others are added to the bowl. It begins with a bubbler; Goldfish is not impressed. He does nothing but bubble and really doesn't add anything to Goldfish's well-being. Then come plants, a snail with a penchant for slime, an aggressive crab, a pirate ship and even a visitor  from Hollywood.

Mervin the snail seems to be the only one truly content  with his lot in life...there is always something to be cleaned away from the side of the bowl.  By Day Ten Goldfish is starting to question the insanity:

"This is ridiculous.
I was trying to find room for a swim today when Rhoda and Clark told me that they are going to have babies soon.  Like there's room for THAT."

Finally, it's just too much and Goldfish has a meltdown. Screaming for peace and quiet, he finds immediately himself floating alone in a small, clean, heavenly place. He is delighted....and alone. It doesn't take long for him to wonder what will happen to the others. Who will help when they run into trouble? Tearful and distraught, he longs for their company once more. To his surprise that wish is soon granted, as all the occupants of his first home are reunited in a much bigger place, one meant for 'family'. The surprise ending will bring delight!
The artwork is wonderful. It's filled with expressive and unique personalities, bold, bright colors, and a most appealing design. Taking a careful look, wide-eyed listeners will note each new addition to the fishbowl family. There is so much to see as the story is shared..

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