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4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  136 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Everyone has a dog. Except for one little boy. He has a goldfish.

He needs a dog.

Mom says, "Why do you need a dog when you have such a nice goldfish?"

But goldfish can't catch sticks or go for walks or wag their tails.... Can they?

Maybe they can...
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published November 25th 2008 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published August 4th 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 201)
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Nov 17, 2012 Virginia rated it liked it
Shelves: children, read-2012
I picked this book up on a whim solely based on the cover and the cute illustrations. My children enjoy looking at the dogs and fish and my three year old likes the story. (I think.) My one year old just likes the dogs. :D

Funny and sweet, the best line of the books is, "Well, if you can't have what you want, you could try to want what you have."

Sound advice, if you ask me, for any age!
Tim Johnson
Oct 22, 2015 Tim Johnson rated it it was ok
A story as old as time. The little boy is unsatisfied with his pet fish and wants a dog. His mom says "no!" (I sense a Beastie Boys song coming on). So he pretends his fish is a dog.

The kids seemed to like this one okay as well.
Feb 11, 2009 Katie rated it it was amazing
Really adorable. Funny and sweet. Full of hilarious lines, like these:

* I say [to my mom:] looking at her with my hypnotizing eyes, "I need a dog." But my mom says, "We'll see," which really means, "NO."

* I look sad. My goldfish looks sad too. These are our sad looks.

* And my mom looks irritated but sorrowful. Like this.

* Then we all look how people look when The Situation Is Hopeless.

* After a bit my mom says, "Well, if you can't have what you want, you could try to want what you have." She AL
Nov 04, 2010 IrenesBookReviews rated it really liked it
A little boy wants a dog for a pet. He already has a fish and his mom says they can not get a dog for multiple reasons. The little boy gets creative and teaches his fish to do dog tricks. These tricks include catching a stick and waging its tail. He also takes the fish outside for walks by pulling the fish in his bowl around in a wagon. In the end the little boy is happy with his fish. I thought it was funny and showed how good it is to have an imagination. It also teaches that you have to learn ...more
Jan 26, 2015 Alyssa rated it it was amazing
Utterly adorable, great illustrations, great message.
Michelle King
Jun 10, 2013 Michelle King rated it really liked it
Shelves: gillian-shields
I enjoyed this book very much. The little boy is very persistent with his mother asking her for a dog. It can help children understand sometimes in life you will want something, but will not receive it. They will learn to be happy with what the have and use there imagination. Great vocabulary words children can learn are sorrowful and hypnotizing. Learning experience would be discussing with children the pets they have and the pets the would like.
Feb 18, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it
I totally loved the art in this book. It says it is the first book by British illustrator, Dan Taylor, but I hope it won't be the last. I wanted to give the book 5 stars, for the art alone, but the ending didn't feel as strong to me as it could've been. Definately one to check out.
Dec 09, 2008 Tara rated it really liked it
I love the crazy big head pictures in the book. The text is also rockin' with phrases such as, "So I say to my mom..." that evoke a very conversational tone. The message of "If you don't have what you want, want what you have" is very well conceived and delivered.
Apr 15, 2012 Bree rated it it was amazing
I love the lesson learned..(love)and want what you already have. Goldfish is a perfectly good pet but that doesn't stop the boy from wanting a dog that they cannot have. Since I go through this a lot with the kids I watch I think I should read it daily.
Aug 02, 2011 Gwnhwyfer rated it really liked it
Not your usual "child wants dog" ergo "child gets dog at the end". I liked the twist and the message: sometimes, what you have is better than what you want. The illustrations were bright and, I love Gillian Shields' books! ;)
Aug 13, 2011 Traca rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, aubrey
Great book! The whole family loved this one. It's a cute story, but the illustration is what makes this a winner! Loved the retro colors/feeling with all the use of circles. Beautifully done!
The Styling Librarian
talk about the perfect book for the message of making the best with what you’ve got… Little boy told that no, he can’t have a dog… so he trains his fish to perform like a dog…
Jan 29, 2009 Tricia rated it really liked it
Boy yearns for dog. Dog is not an option. Boy has fish. Boy accepts that fish is his "dog". Great pictures, clear humor and just overall appealing.
Nov 16, 2014 Anne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
This is a cute story with a good moral for children and adults. It emphasizes being happy with what you already have. Very cute!
What pet to get
I want a pet by Lauren child

Fascinating fish facts - find non-fiction book

Sep 28, 2012 Huda rated it really liked it
Shelves: en-pic-books
He wanted a dog but his mom surprised him with a goldfish
the question is, can a goldfish be a real pet and play a dog's role?
Sara Jones
I think this book may have some storytelling potential for 2nd/3rd graders with all the "and then I make this face."
Dec 29, 2008 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Interesting artwork and a good life lesson raise this book above a typically "I want a dog" book.
Sep 25, 2009 Kati rated it it was amazing
very nice message ... like what you have, don't always think you need something else.
Mar 13, 2011 Shayna rated it really liked it
This book was hilarious. I was laughing out loud with my kids!
Sep 24, 2010 Bridget rated it liked it
Fun to be read to at library time with Drew.
May 11, 2012 Phuong rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids
The protaganist of this book is somewhat snotty.
Sep 23, 2012 Malissa rated it it was amazing
Cute, cute, cute with a good message!
Mar 12, 2010 Michelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-books
You can be happy with what you have.
Jan 23, 2009 Zack rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Fun fun fun.
May 24, 2012 Mike rated it it was amazing
I love this book.
Gretchen Cox
Gretchen Cox marked it as to-read
Mar 21, 2016
Tadeo Minces
Tadeo Minces rated it really liked it
Mar 16, 2016
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Gillian Shields was born and brought up in Yorkshire, in the north of England. As she grew up, she had two passions:books and theater. Gillian’s love of books led her to read English at St. Catharine's College, Cambridge. After university she studied acting in London. She then taught in a drama school, the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, for several years, becoming Vice Principal. She recently ...more
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“Well, if you can't have what you want, you could try to want what you have.” 20 likes
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