Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Fish Out of Water” as Want to Read:
Fish Out of Water
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Fish Out of Water (Beginner Books B-23)

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  19,167 Ratings  ·  191 Reviews
A little boy who overfeeds his goldfish begins an adventure that brings even the police and a fire engine to cope with A FISH OUT OF WATER. Beginning readers will delight in this fast moving story. 'I can read it all by myself' is the Beginner Books motto, and behind it is an understanding of how important it is for children to take pride and pleasure in their early readin ...more
Paperback, 64 pages
Published August 1st 1984 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published August 12th 1961)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
This is perhaps my most special read of this year. Why? Because this is the first book that my daughter, Shrija, read aloud to me.

As parents, we are used to reading to our kids but when the favour is returned, believe me it is an experience far sweeter than any other in this world!

The story is about a little boy who buys a fish as a pet and is warned not to overfeed it. However, children will remain children and do what they are specifically told not to do. So this boy feeds the fish more than
Jan 31, 2017 Pooja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Kids are always warned when they go to buy a fish that they must not feed the fish more than it is required.

Most kids don't follow this. They get in the sentiment trap of fish and feed them more.

This story is a perfect lesson that we should never feed the fish more.

But if an friendly fish like this, comes to you for food, how can you refuse?

Dec 04, 2012 Brad rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, to-scoutie
I find it hard to read this book without thinking about Helen Palmer Geisel's suicide, which came after Dr. Seuss' adultery with the woman who would become his second wife. At one point in the note she wrote, "I am too old and enmeshed in everything you do and are, that I cannot conceive of life without you," and I felt that sentiment when I read A Fish Out of Water last night.

Palmer (I'll stick with her chosen nom de plume from now on) took an old story of Seuss's -- a story he had abandoned -
Crystal Starr Light
From an adult's perspective, this book is absolutely ridiculous. Feeding a fish too much causes him to grow to an obscene size within hours? I'm sure that is probably what made my parents laugh uncontrollably as they read this to me.

So why do I adore this book? Well, slap me around and call me nostalgic, but Dad read this to me. He had some of the greatest voices when reading this book, and I have so many fond memories of me and my sis sitting on either side of him as he would wail, "WHY DID I F
Apr 22, 2010 Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just as I remembered.
May 19, 2016 DadReads rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was a kid, I always liked reading the “About the Author” blurb at the end of a book – probably the budding quizzer in me wanted every piece of available information. One of my favourite childhood books was A Fish Out of Water and my version had no such blurb – or if it did it was on a long-lost dust-jacket. So I’ve written one myself:

Helen Palmer was born in New York in 1898. For 40 years she was married to Dr Seuss. They had no children – Helen was unable to. In later years she suffered
Nov 05, 2012 BlackhamBoys rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
I remember reading this many years ago when I was young. As we recent got some goldfish, and they always looked SO hungry (resulting in some overfeeding by the kids) this book popped into my mind and I looked it up and borrowed it from the library.

Bring a "I Can Read" book with the Dr. Suess logo, I was expecting it to be a little more rhymey than it was. But a cute, quick read, with darling illustrations.

... with a reminder to the kids that the story IS make believe, that a fish really wouldn't
Nov 22, 2014 Eileen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this humorous book, a little boy buys a fish from a pet store. The boy overfeeds his fish. The fish grows and grows and grows.
Jun 18, 2016 Rossy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
Fun and highly original story, it emphasizes in a funny way the importance of following directions.
Sep 09, 2011 Jadalynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-lit
This is a cute picture book for primary readers. It’s about a little boy who buys a fish called Otto and the man at the pet store, Mr Carp, warns him not to feed Otto more than a little bit. The boy ends up feeding Otto more than he was told and Otto grows and grows till he finally has to be moved to a pool, and Mr Carp comes over to make Otto small again, we just don’t know how he did it. The simplistic colors in the line drawings might not grab kids attention, but the cleverness of the drawing ...more
Maureen Jehling
Dec 05, 2014 Maureen Jehling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Fish Out of Water, by Helen Palmer, is about a young boy who gets a first pet which is a fish. Mr. Carp, the fish salesman, told the boy only to feed his fish a pinch of food or something will happen. But then one day the little boy does feed the fish too much, and something does happen! What do you think could possibly happen? Think about it, but you must read this book yourself, or which your children, to find out what does happen!

I remember reading this book all the time when I was younger!
Jun 24, 2013 Alyson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would rate this 10 stars if i could!!! This was my mum's favorite book when she was little. And when I was little I thought this was a real story so I was always careful when I was feeding my fish!;-P
Debby Baumgartner
Feb 11, 2011 Debby Baumgartner rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: seuss
Dr. Seuss's first wife, Helen Palmer, wrote this story about a little boy who feeds his fish more than the shop keeper told him to feed him. The fish grows and grows. The boy has to call for help to stop the growth.
David Sarkies
Aug 04, 2013 David Sarkies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Sometimes the professional is right
4 August 2013

This story is about a boy who buys himself a fish and then proceeds to ignore the advise of the pet shop store owner (ironically, or not so ironically, named Mr Carp), succumbs to the guilt trip that the fish lays upon him, and feeds the fish the whole box of fish food. Well, he should have listened to the professional advice because the fish then begins to grow at a rapid rate and nobody knows what to do about it, until Mr Carp comes along and do
Comfort Olajide
I read this book it is about a little boy that pointed a particular fish he wanted to buy in a fish shop and he knew the fish like him and the owner of the shop (Mr. Carp) also said (Otto) the fish like him to. So Mr. Carp taught the little boy how to feed the fish otherwise the fish will have problem if overfed. The little boy took the Otto home and fed him a little food at first then kept watching the fish and he thought Otto the fish is still hungry so he fed him with all the food in the box ...more
Dec 09, 2011 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
1. Controlled Vocabulary
2. A little boy learns a hard lesson when he doesn’t listen to the pet shop owner and feeds his fish too much! Who knows what can happen if you don’t follow directions!
3. Critique:
a. The strength of this book is the simple presentation and limited word use to get the story across.
b. By using charming pictures and a limited vocabulary, the book becomes a great one for early readers who are still getting used to recognizing and reading words. This way of writing is almost l
Jordyn Agost
A Fish Out Of Water is about a young boy who gets a fish and names him Otto. When the young boy bought the fish, the pet store owner had warned the boy not to overfeed the fish at all. If the boy were to overfeed him, there would be horrible consequences. And that’s exactly what the little boy had done. He over fed the fish and Otto would not stop growing. He outgrew every container that he was put in even the city pool. The town was furious so the pet store owner was asked to save the day.
Yahira Romero
Jan 25, 2014 Yahira Romero rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book starts off with a boy going to get a fish from Mr. Carp. Mr. Carp explained to the boy what to do and how much food the little fish needed. Well the little boys doesn't listen and his fish grows big. He grows so big that the boy had to find him a new home. The fish didn't fit in pots or flower bowls. The fish had to be taken to a pool and there Mr. Carp fixed the fish and told the boy how he didn't follow the rules and his fish got so big. From there the boy didn't disobey. I enjoyed r ...more
Sara Bland
Apr 27, 2015 Sara Bland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
A charming little story of a boy who did not follow his teacher's directions and ends up in a big mess. The little boy gets a fish and is told to only feed him one pinch. The boy loves his fish and wants him to have al the food he wants, so he feeds him the whole jar of food! The fish grows and grows. Firefighters, police officers, all sorts of people come to help him. Mr. Carp ends up coming back to save the day. This is a nice lesson on following directions and listening to adults. This book w ...more
Emily Hawkins
This is one of my 2 year old son's favorites. I remember loving it as a child as well. This story goes from simply "not following directions properly" to totally out of control fish growth. The unnamed hero of our story bravely tries to save his ever-growing fish that he fed too much by transferring him from one container to another until he ends up in a swimming pool. Finally he calls the fish store owner for help.
Jan 24, 2016 Jbaccon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Never ceases to amaze me how captivating this book is, even for 3 year-olds! It just builds so beautifully and boggles the mind. What did Mr Carp do? Love, love, love the illustrations and there is such voice in the smoothly crafted text. Watch out though for the desire to overfeed the library fish!
Jan 24, 2016 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great story for children about the consequences of not following adults' directions and appropriately asking for help when facing such consequences. The way the main character loves and cares about his pet fish despite a harmful decision sets a good example for children and parents alike. The prose is simple and articulate with charming rhyming.
Nov 30, 2012 Annie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved loved loved this book when I was a wee child. A boy feeds his pet goldfish too much and it grows to an unmanageably large size. Recently donated and added to our collection at Kailua Public Library!
Emily Garrison
Sep 02, 2016 Emily Garrison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book! I remember it being read to me as a child so I purchased it to read for my son. I love the moral of the story....that noone benefits when you don't listen to directions! It's a cute little story about a fish that gets overfed! Extremely entertaining! Highly recommend!
Sep 25, 2016 Cat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: k-12
This book doesn't rhyme, which most children's books do...I was a little disappointed.

Love the illustrations (guy who wrote/illustrated Go Dog Go).

Overall the book just doesn't make a lot of sense. The LO is obsessed with fish so it works.
Mar 17, 2016 Daniela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amé las ilustraciones y tipografía de este libro porque me recordó mis libros favoritos de casa de mis abuelos (libros infantiles de los 60). Es un libro que, de haber conocido de niña, habría sido mi favorito y habría releído mil veces.
Jun 15, 2014 Leelaa73 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember loving this book as a child and now I'm reading it to my kids! It's just a fun great kids book.
Jun 25, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book when I was a kid. It is ridiculous. It is funny. And I learned not to overfeed our fish.
Jun 05, 2016 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another favorite for me and my kids. Good lesson in following instructions and the consequences when you don't.
Nov 06, 2014 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the books I used to beg my mother to borrow from the Massillon Public Library...followed, of course, by my asking her to read it several times per day until we had to return it.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Robert the Rose Horse
  • A Fly Went by (Beginner Books(R))
  • I Wish That I Had Duck Feet
  • The Best Nest
  • I'll Teach My Dog a Lot of Words
  • Inside, Outside, Upside Down (Berenstain Bears Bright and Early Board Book)
  • Please Try to Remember the First of Octember!
  • The King, the Mice and the Cheese
  • Snow (Beginner Books B-27)
  • The Ear Book (Bright & Early Books)
  • It's Not Easy Being a Bunny
  • All by Myself
  • I Want to Be Somebody New! (Beginner Books(R))
Helen Marion Palmer Geisel (September 23, 1898 – October 23, 1967), known professionally as Helen Palmer, was an American actress and author and the wife of children's book writer Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel). Her most well known book is Do You Know What I'm Going To Do Next Saturday?, published in 1963. This book, along with two others — I Was Kissed by a Seal at the Zoo (1962) and Why I Buil ...more
More about Helen Marion Palmer...

Other Books in the Series

Beginner Books (1 - 10 of 31 books)
  • Are You My Mother?
  • Green Eggs and Ham
  • Bennett Cerf's Book of Riddles (Beginner Books)
  • Animal Riddles
  • Maybe You Should Fly a Jet! Maybe You Should Be a Vet!
  • My Book About Me by ME Myself
  • The Cat in the Hat
  • The Cat in the Hat Comes Back
  • A Fly Went by (Beginner Books(R))
  • The Big Jump and Other Stories

Share This Book