Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet

PreS-Gr 1—At first glance, it would seem that Gilbert Goldfish has it made: castle, treasure chest, and a steady supply of tasty flakes falling from the sky into his bowl. But sadness overwhelms him. Gilbert's deepest desire is to have a pet of his own, to care for and love. Finding the right one is no easy task for a goldfish, though. The visiting dog is too loud, the mouse too rude (he shuns Gilbert once he determines that the fish is not a big chunk of cheddar), and the fly—well, what happens to the fly is too tragic to talk about. Finally, Gilbert thinks he has found the perfect pet, but readers may fear for his safety. Will all end in happiness or a calamity? The clever text stands on its own, but Shea's bold, expressive illustrations elevate this title to a higher plane. Wavy orange endpapers establish the watery setting and bright palette. Gilbert exudes emotion, whether love, horror, or sadness. With its mix of humor, mild shock (that fly again), and surprise ending, Gilbert Goldfish is a perfect choice for storytime and bedtime.—Suzanne Myers Harold, Multnomah County Library System, Portland, OR
Goldfish Gilbert longs for a pet. A visiting dog is energetic but loud; a neighboring mouse is cute but quiet; a buzzing-by fly is friendly but, sadly, gets swatted (a bit shocking). When all hope seems lost, a twist reveals the perfect pal. The well-paced story, with crisp illustrations, will hook readers into rooting for the endearing, bright-eyed swimmer.

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