Review by Booklist Review
A four-year-old boy is given a goldfish and promptly names it Richard. Richard, who is placed in a large tank in the kitchen, has plenty to keep him busy: the tank is filled with plants, small rocks, and several other fish that belong to the boy's sister. The youngster spends time talking to his new pet and is thrilled when Richard follows his finger along the glass. Sandy, a neighbor boy, visits and shares his knowledge about the pet, and a font smaller than the main text provides brief information on the care and keeping of goldfish (two facts included: goldfish don't have lungs and use gills to breathe, and they also don't have eyelids and so sleep with their eyes open). Sandy's goldfish live outside in a pond, which he offers as a home for Richard should he ever outgrow the kitchen tank. Lovely, mixed-media illustrations have the appearance of watercolors, crayon, chalk, and tissue paper. An author's note, which includes an index, gives useful tips on raising goldfish.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 2--The curious journey of Richard the goldfish begins in the kitchen fish tank where he forms a charming bond with his human companion, following the boy's fingers along the edge of the tank each day. Fortuitously, the boy's neighbor Sandy also has goldfish as pets but Sandy's are much larger and live in a pond. Sandy impresses the boy with goldfish facts and when the boy worries that Richard will outgrow his kitchen tank, Sandy offers his pond. Throughout the story, the peppering of little-known facts about this common childhood pet help to elevate this title. The mixed media illustrations of the goldfish and their aquatic environs are lively and ethereal, conveying a sense of drifting underwater movement. The frenetic linework and flat, doll-like eyes of their human counterparts seem mismatched with the beautifully rendered goldfish and plant life. Despite this, the book will be well-received by little ones who are interested in the care and keeping of goldfish. VERDICT An effective pairing of story and fact makes the common goldfish shine bright in this recommended purchase for collections covering pet care.--Sarah Simpson, Westerville P.L., OH
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
An appealing introduction to a common household pet. A 4-year-old child with tan skin and curly hair gets a first pet, a goldfish named Richard. The two stare at each other across the gutter of this sweet tale's opening spread. Over time the child learns a lot about Richard--and so do readers. In a smaller font throughout the book, we read fascinating facts about goldfish: They have good memories; they use their eyesight and sense of smell to locate food; with their keen vision they can detect more colors than humans; and a group of them is called a "troubling." Richard's owner has a pink-cheeked friend, an older boy named Sandy. He offers useful information and even an invitation for Richard, if ever he gets too large to remain in his home aquarium, to come live in his family's backyard fish pond. Richard's owner happily accepts this invitation when the fish turns 4 1/2 years old. Children will marvel at the size to which the fish grows: Wide-eyed Richard in vivid red and orange colors consumes nearly every inch of one striking double-page spread. The lovely and delicate mixed-media illustrations sparkle with color; we see Richard, other fish, bubbles, and aquatic plants drift serenely in gentle waters. An author's note and brief index conclude this charming book. (This book was reviewed digitally.) Delightful and validating for first-time or would-be goldfish guardians. (Informational picture book. 4-8) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.