The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish with CD (Audio)|
by Neil Gaiman
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|A Review of: The Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish
by Olga Stein
Neil Gaiman's and Dave McKean's The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two
Goldfish has both a good story, for children 5 to 9 years of age,
and impressive illustrations. The text is inserted graphic-novel-style
in a font that resembles handwriting. Line-drawn illustrations are
superimposed on a background that often consists of colour washes
on newsprint or other textured surfaces. The result of this layering
is gorgeous, and the frequently created contrast between dark and
light colours gives some objects the appearance of being illuminated.
Many of the pages look a touch eery and dream-like. The line drawings
nicely convey facial expressions and body language, which is important
for young readers. As for the story, it's simple but pulls the
reader in. Young Mike, a little selfish and impetuous, swaps his
father for his friend Nathan's two goldfish. His more sensible
younger sister warns him that he'll see trouble when Mother returns,
but rather than heed her advice Mike ties her up and stuffs a sock
in her mouth (this is a Neil Gaiman story!). Sure enough, Mom is
furious when finally told about the trade, and orders her son to
return the goldfish and bring back Dad. But as Mike discovers, Dad
has gone through a series of swaps and isn't easily reacquired.
Children will relate to Mike and his sister's love-hate relationship.
They will also be amused by Dad's characteristic obliviousness to
all that goes on around him. He is content to let others become
masters of his fate as long as he's allowed to read his newspaper.