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The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish

The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish

Written by Neil Gaiman

Narrated by Neil Gaiman


The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish

Written by Neil Gaiman

Narrated by Neil Gaiman

ratings:
4.5/5 (140 ratings)
Length:
14 minutes
Publisher:
Released:
Oct 6, 2009
ISBN:
9780061987366
Format:
Audiobook

Description

"I'll swap you my dad," I said.
"Oh-oh," said my little sister.

What if you wanted your best friend's two goldfish so much that you'd swap anything for them, even your father?

What if your mother came home and found out what you'd done?

The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish is a hilarious adventure and was the first book for younger readers from the acclaimed author and illustrator of the New York Times best-sellers The Wolves in the Walls and Coraline. Chosen as one of Newsweek magazine's Best Children's Books of the Year, The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish is beloved by readers of all ages. This new edition features brand-new jacket art and an afterword by the author on the origins of this unique and wonderfully funny story.

Publisher:
Released:
Oct 6, 2009
ISBN:
9780061987366
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Neil Gaiman is the celebrated author of books, graphic novels, short stories, films, and television for readers of all ages. Some of his most notable titles include the highly lauded #1 New York Times bestseller Norse Mythology; the groundbreaking and award-winning Sandman comic series; The Graveyard Book (the first book ever to win both the Newbery and Carnegie Medals); American Gods, winner of many awards and recently adapted into the Emmy-nominated Starz TV series (the second season slated to air in 2019); The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which was the UK’s National Book Award 2013 Book of the Year. Good Omens, which he wrote with Terry Pratchett a very long time ago (but not quite as long ago as Don’t Panic) and for which Gaiman wrote the screenplay, will air on Amazon and the BBC in 2019. Author photo by Beowulf Sheehan


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Reviews

What people think about The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish

4.4
140 ratings / 31 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    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.
  • (5/5)
    Fun fun fun.
  • (4/5)
    From the author of The Wolves in the Walls and the incredible comic book series Sandman comes a delightful story about a young boy who decides to swap his newspaper-reading father for two goldfish, and his struggle to get him back.The Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish won the award for Newsweek's Best Children's Book in 2003, and British Science Fiction Association's award for short fiction in 1997. It is based on a re-telling of an age-old tale of a item that gets swapped from person to person until the original owner needs to retrieve the object and swap item for item until he can get it back for good. In this story, a young boy decides to trade his father for two goldfish, but when his mother gets home and realizes what he's done, he's told he must go swap them back, only to find that his friend has swapped his father for an electric guitar. It was only until the young boy gets his father back that he realizes what a good father he really is, despite him never paying any attention to him or playing with him and his younger sister. The dialogue is witty, and expressed exactly as children would speak and behave. Dave McKean (illustrator) is a renowned colleague of Neil Gaiman, and illustrates most of his stories and graphic novels. His artwork is a unique blend of art and real-life photographs, and adds great depth to the story. The Day I swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish is a great story to share with children, as many of them may, at some time or other, have been able to identify with the main character.
  • (3/5)
    In the tradition of Maurice Sendack, who believed in showing the truth of the world-- however harsh or not-- to children Neil Gaiman does the same in this book. It is an amusing tale of a boy who trades his dad, who isn't paying attention, for two gold fish and is subsequently traded forward. It is a good reminder for parents to pay attention too, otherwise they might be traded away by their off-spring.
  • (4/5)
    A cute little story for children from Neil Gaiman. Dave McKean's illustrations are creepy as usual. This will probably end up on Sebastian's shelf when he's older.
  • (4/5)
    This is a funny little book. I would think this is indeed how children view adults trying to quietly read their newspaper or book. Being so interested in it that they would barely notice being traded of for two goldfish. But I would have preferred swapping one of my sisters. I had a spare one anyway! ;)
  • (5/5)
    Personal Response: I loved the illustrations in this book. I also enjoyed the bickering between the brother and his little sister.Curricular Connection: In a First Grade Classroom, students can take turns reading the pages aloud at circle time. Then, the class can collectively make a chart of all the exchanges the children go through to get their father back.
  • (5/5)
    This is the story of a boy who swaps his father for his friends two goldfish. This action triggers multiple swaps for the boys father with his friends who covet other various items. His kid sister nags him and tattles on him, and eventually his mother sends them both on the journey to bring his father home. After tracking him down (and re-swapping everything as he follows his friends path of trades) he finally brings his father home, only to consider doing the same with his sister!
  • (4/5)
    I picked this book because of the illustrations. They are so cool and very different than any other children's book I had seen. After I read the book I liked it even more. It is about a boy who trades his dad for some goldfish and his dad keeps getting traded around to other people. It is very interesting and unlike most other children's books.
  • (4/5)
    A boy traded his clueless dad who just sits on the couch reading newspaper all day and have no clue what's going on with his friend for 2 beautiful goldfishes, but when the boy's mother came back home, she yelled at the boy and told him to get his father back, but his friend traded his dad for something else, and this happened several times as he runs all over the town trying to get his dad back. Finally, he found his dad and brought him home but the dad didn't even have a clue of what happened and is still reading the same newspaper! What a weird father and what a weird son he has for trading something so priceless for something so common!
  • (2/5)
    Unfortunately, I can't say I enjoyed this picture book much. A cliched story of swapping one thing for another ... and so on with a little twist that the thing being swapped is a boy's father. The father is oblivious to his repeatedly being swapped as he is immersed in reading the newspaper. When the mother finds out that father has been swapped for two goldfish she sends the son off to swap him back. Of course, when he arrives he finds out that his dad has been swapped for something else and the boy runs all over town re-swapping items until the mindless father is finally found. Can't say the story did anything for me at all and I really didn't like the portrayal of the clueless father. )A great book with a swapping theme that I highly recommend is The Seventeenth Swap by Eloise Jarvis McGraw.) However, I did really enjoy the mixed-media collage illustrations by McKean. I dabble in this myself and found myself studying the techniques used in each illustration.
  • (3/5)
    Trouble happens when a boy trades his dad for two goldfish. Goldfish are fun, but how hard is it going to be to get dad back. Well, a lot.Children's Picturebook, fanatsyI have a soft spot for Neil Gaiman and know him from adult fantasy and comic books, and I wasn't sure how well it would translate. As it turns out it translates pretty darn well. It's funny and irreverent and definitely something that kids can relate to.The downside of this book for the classroom is that the art is a little too loose, it's hard to relate to visually for kids. One-on-one you can walk through the story with a kid, but the messy pictures seem too busy for carpet time.
  • (5/5)
    The artwork is delightful and Gaiman tells a fairly simple and amusing story that still manages to provide thoughtful reflection (what if we parents are so boring our children are tempted to trade us for 2 goldfish!?)
  • (5/5)
    Gaiman hits another gold star! My kids WILL know this book. :)
  • (5/5)
    Surely every kid has wanted to swap their dad for a pair of goldfish. But what happens when dad actually gets swapped?This is a terrific story, and I adore the art by Dave McKean. Ages 9 and up.
  • (5/5)
    A young boy swaps his dad for two goldfish that his friend brings over. His mother protests, so he and his sister go out to do a series of swaps to get his dad back, as things got swapped onward. Dave McKean did the illustrations, so they're lush and slightly off kilter, a perfect complement to the slightly off kilter story. :)
  • (3/5)
    The tale of a young boy who must undo a series of trades to get back his dad. It has its cute moments, but overall the story is somewhat lacking. The illustrations are interesting, though they give a somewhat creepy feel to the book. Overall an interesting read, but definitely not for everyone.
  • (4/5)
    An interesting story of a good idea that was possibly not as great as it seemed at the time. The poor father ends up in a rabbit hutch, but at least his son defends him -- he may be a lousy rabbit, but he's not meant to be a good one, and apparently he's an excellent father. He's certainly a good sport. I'm fonder of The Wolves in the Walls; it's darker, but the characters are more congenial in general.
  • (5/5)
    This is such a DELIGHTFUL book! Funny and quirky, I like to read this over and over. And Dave McKean's art is lovely as always!
  • (4/5)
    a generous story of swapping and trading.. cute kids.. i guess i expected a bit more though...
  • (5/5)
    I deify anyone not to love this book! It is such a fun, quirky tale that only the coldest person could not enjoy it. Even the title brings s mile to your face!
  • (5/5)
    Just AMAAAAAAAAZING... A good book for all ages. Loved it.
  • (5/5)
    Great short story! Neil Gaiman really brings the characters alive
  • (5/5)
    Brilliantly funny like all his books. Just enough long for taking my Shelton for a walk
  • (5/5)
    This book was so adorable. Even if your an adult do take a listen.
  • (4/5)
    4.5 stars - it dragged on for just a bit too long; that’s my only complaint. The kids were so damn kid-like - the characterization was phenomenal - especially the last sentence/thought of the MC. It reminds me of Brother for Sale from those old Mary-Kate and Ashley videos. I adore it when Neil narrates his stories/books, etc; he’s just so good at it, while still being lovely to listen to.
  • (5/5)
    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.
  • (3/5)
    Adorable read about a pair of siblings who swapped their dad for goldfish! Something you'd expect for Neil Gaiman. Overall pretty interesting despite getting repetitive. It's a book for mostly young audiences, after all. Very cute.
  • (4/5)
    funny
  • (5/5)
    The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish is an excellent book for readers who are around third and fourth grade. More than just a regular picture book, this short story in transitional book form tells the story of a child that is making some interesting trades for things that are more fun that their father. The perspective of the child in this book really speaks to readers that are looking to see themselves in their books. The book really shines once the main character has to try to figure out how to get his dad back, with narratives that highlight what kind of situation that the child is really in. The artwork is amazing, and readers will spend a great amount of time just looking through the detailed and dark artwork.