Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish” as Want to Read:
The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  9,359 Ratings  ·  597 Reviews
"I'll swap you my dad," I said.
"Oh-oh," said my little sister.

What if you wanted your best friend's two goldfish so much that you'd swap anything for them, even your father?

What if your mother came home and found out what you'd done?

The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish is a hilarious adventure and was the first book for younger readers from the acclaimed author and i
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published August 31st 2004 by HarperCollins (first published 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Andrea Webster I'd say maybe 6 to adult. Much younger than 6 and it would be a little too slow and quirky for them. I just read it tonight with my almost 12 year…moreI'd say maybe 6 to adult. Much younger than 6 and it would be a little too slow and quirky for them. I just read it tonight with my almost 12 year old!(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
The narration by Neil Gaiman himself is fantastic
Lisa Vegan
This offbeat story is subversively funny. I really enjoyed it. The newspaper reading dad and the little sister provided a lot of amusement, and the premise was really funny. The illustrations are unique and absolutely brilliant. I docked half a star because of a “fat joke” I could have done without, but otherwise thought this was a hoot. This is a book that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages, especially children and adults who remember what it’s like to be a child. I appreciated that Neil Gai ...more
Nicolo Yu
Nov 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
I bought this a few years back, hoping that one day I could share Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean work with my nephew. Apparently my sister also had the same idea and already bought her son one.

As thumbed through the pages, I couldn’t help by enjoy McKean’s art. As much as I enjoy Gaiman’s work, it is McKean mixed media mastery that stands out. It is truly a feast for the eyes.
Airiz C
Jul 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a very crazy read…kind of like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, but simpler and madder in a this-is-from-a-child’s-perspective kind of way. The title says it all actually, when a boy seeks for something to trade for his friend Nathan’s two goldfish. Nathan rejects everything that the boy offers until the latter sets his eyes upon his dad. Nathan agrees, and the fun begins.

At first I’m not sure if I like this or not, because it’s absurd—and that’s saying something because I’m all for the
Amy (Other Amy)
I bought this on a whim while browsing at a comic shop three or four years ago. The art is great (although the color tones are not my personal favorite); the story is just all right. The portrait of the big brother and his kid sister is fantastic kinds of real, but I guess I also expected the swapping thing to be really funny, and it was meh.

I had no idea until looking at this on Goodreads that Gaiman was the author. (I know, I know, but I really don't always pay attention to that crucial bit of
"I could be a rock and roll star!" I said to my sister.

"You could be an idiot." My sister said to me.

My nose hurts from snorting so many times. This story is just so silly and I giggled the whole way through! It also reminded me a lot of my older brother and I. Especially the ending!
Bengu Akagul
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Neil Gaiman'ın garip fikirlerini çok seviyorum. Tamam yani 20 dakikada bitmiş olabilir, küçük bir kitap olabilir ama onu okumaya karşı olan özlemimi giderdi. Seviyoruz seni Gaiman.
I wouldn't have thought that another book, even by the same author/illustrator team, could be as wacky and unique and different and interesting as The Wolves in the Walls, but Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean have proved me wrong! This book is just as wacky and unique and different and interesting - if not more so on all counts! AND this one was written quite a few years before The Wolves in the Walls.

I was very partial to the goldfish, and missed them when they were no longer part of the story. My
May 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
funny short story about a kid who swapped his dad for two goldfish and the other kid swapped the same dad for an electric guitare and it went on, so the son had to bring everything back to get his dad home.
Jun 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
Fun but a slight disappointment after the genius of the Wolves in the Walls. Similar ending, too. McKean's illustrations are top notch as usual.
Maca Contreras
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Neil lo hiciste otra vez
Mar 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: neil-gaiman
"The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish" is a funny yet sarcastic little book from the creative mind of Neil Gaiman. It is about how a young boy sells his dad for two goldfish and when his mother finds out about what he has done, she orders him to go back and retrieve his father back.

Neil Gaiman has done a great job with making this story humorous and entertaining at the same time as the boy may seem a bit sadistic in selling his father and even tying up his sister at one point, but he has a
Nadine Larter
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
My friend Joe gave me this book when I fell pregnant. It was a kind of “I know presents are supposed to be for the baby but this one is really for you” kind of thing. I love Joe.

And I LOVE this book! It’s adorable. And you can see that it’s a kind of loving “I dig the kids in my life” tribute.

Obviously the title gives away the whole plot, and it’s a kid’s book so really doesn’t take long to read. The illustrations (by Dave McKean) are incredible (my kind of quirky drawing) and the story itself i
Barbara Brien
Jul 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
I picked up this book at a yard sale, as my eye invariably notices big colorful picture books. The fact that it was Neil Gaiman sealed the deal. I think this is a good book to present the idea of pretend and fantasy to children.

The story is cute, if implausible. It is silly and slightly edgy, rather than scary. I had to work hard to suspend my disbelief as dad was traded for item after item. I kept expecting to hear that he had finally just gone home on his own. But that is not how the story wo
Oh how I wish I had read this book when I was in primary school. It's got all elements that I loved and still love that make up books like Coraline (by Neil Gaiman himself) and A Series of Unfortunate Events - quirky and weird yet funny and entertaining all in one - yet in the format of a very short children's picture book. Is it so awful that I am almost an adult yet really want to purchase this for, not a child, but myself? I don't think so. Or at least I'm trying to convince myself of that, a ...more
Serena.. Sery-ously?
Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
"C'è qualcosa con cui scambieresti i due pesci rossi?"
Ad alcuni vengono idee grandiose, magari una o due volte nella loro vita, e così scoprono l'elettricità o il fuoco o lo spazio interstellare o qualche altra cosa. Cioè le idee geniali che cambiano il mondo intero.
Ad altri queste idee non vengono mai.
A me vengono due o tre volte alla settimana.
"Facciamo cambio con mio papà" propongo.

Grazie Neil <3
May 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Like Coraline, Neil Gaiman wrote it for his children. They seem to have the talent of keeping him always inspired! Because , like Coraline, it was inspired by his own child, saying: I wish I didn't have a dad. I wish I had a goldfish!
And like Coraline, it took Neil Gaiman a couple of YEARS to come back to the story and finish it!
But unlike Coraline, it is just another sweet story, suitable for all children!
Oh, how I wish I could time travel and slip this marvelous book into the Spiderman backpack of my 7 year-old self. Maybe it would have prevented me from swapping my dad's turntable for a very crappy (but much needed) ukulele.

The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish made me forget my surroundings. It is absorbing, funny, cute and weird in the best possible way. The perfection of Dave McKean's illustrations never ceases to amaze me.
Sara Williams
Adorable read about a pair of siblings who swapped their dad for goldfish! Something you'd expect for Neil Gaiman. Overall pretty interesting despite getting repetitive. It's a book for mostly young audiences, after all. Very cute.
Miranda Reads
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gaiman, audiobook
The title says it all.

Review to come.

Audiobook Comments
Okay, I can't be the only one who thinks it's absolutely hilarious that this 40-page picture book has an audiobook. Because it does. And it's read by Neil Gaiman (who is a superb reader, by the way).
Dragana Nadaški
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 10-s-lukom, owned
Aug 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. Quirky humour and absurd, but brilliant illustrations and a funny storyline.
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tiene unas ilustraciones hermosas y contiene la esencia del autor. Es una historia cortita donde un niño decide cambiar a su padre por unos peces pero luego se da cuenta, que no fue la mejor idea.
Simon Sweetman
Oct 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Good fun
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
This was a funny book. Great for kids
Oct 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I like this book because the title itself catches your attention and the reader is already intrigued to turn the page. For practical reasons this book is also graphic and a good size for guided reading.
The story is told from a young boy’s perspective and is a good insight into the relationships formed within a family. The story starts with the main character who has been left at home for the day with his annoying little sister and his father. Throughout the story the father is totally engrossed
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
My very first Neil Gaiman book...for those of you that have experienced one of Gaiman's books, you'll know what I'm feeling without me even describing it; for those of you who have yet to experience one of Gaiman's books, I urge you to go out and pick up any book by Neil Gaiman and forge in your memory the awe of discovering and experiencing Neil Gaiman for the first time.

The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish was one of the many books that my mom read to me and that I later re-read over and
Oct 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with older children
When the librarian who organized our book club first mentioned American Gods, a book by Neil Gaiman, I knew we'd read a children's book by him, but couldn't quite remember which one it was. When I did a search of his books, I saw this book in the list and I was intrigued. Such a catchy title. So when I went to the library today for our book club meeting for American Gods, I saw this book on top of the shelf in the children's section and just knew I had to read it. Today.

It was a strange story, b
Patrice Sartor
GENRE: Fiction, picture book, adventure.

SUMMARY: A boy's friend visits, along with the friend's two goldfish. The boy decides he must have the goldfish, and offers to trade all manner of items for them. The owner refuses all trade requests until the boy's father is offered. When the boy's mother comes home to discover that her husband has been traded away, she tells her son to go get him back, and pronto. The boy discovers this is not as easy as it seems, as his dad has been traded away elsewher
Oct 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great picture book for a slightly older reader. The text is witty and memorable. A boy swaps his dad for two goldfish named Sawney and Beaney. The goldfish were very nice, much better than dad that just sits there and reads the newspaper. Mother isn’t happy. She says “young man” which she only says when she’s really mad. She sends the boy and his little sister to get back their father, but it isn’t as easy as one reverse swap. Dad has been swapped all over town for a guitar, gorilla ma ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
bigman 1 10 Feb 24, 2013 12:54PM  
  • Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich
  • Seen Art?
  • Alchemy of MirrorMask, The
  • Zen Ties
  • Tadpole's Promise
  • The Lost Thing
  • 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore
  • The Rabbits
  • The Three Golden Keys
  • It's a Book
  • The Heart and the Bottle
  • Wolves
  • Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed
  • The Little Endless Storybook
  • But Excuse Me That Is My Book
  • The Tunnel
  • Zathura

Fantasy & Science Fiction Deals

  • Off to Be the Wizard (Magic 2.0, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Beneath the Shine
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Stepford Wives
    $9.74 $1.99
  • Time's Divide (The Chronos Files, #3)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • The Long Earth (The Long Earth, #1)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • Gilded (Gilded, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Infinity Lost (The Infinity Trilogy #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Man of Legends
    $4.99 $1.99
  • All the Breaking Waves
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fellside
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Banished of Muirwood (Covenant of Muirwood, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Muirwood: The Lost Abbey: The Graphic Novel
    $7.99 $0.99
  • 2061: Odyssey Three (Space Odyssey, #3)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Alas, Babylon
    $9.74 $1.99
  • 3001: The Final Odyssey (Space Odyssey, #4)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Fractured (Guards of the Shadowlands, #2)
    $4.99 $0.99
  • The Queen's Poisoner (Kingfountain, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Zeroes
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Dreams and Shadows (Dreams & Shadows, #1)
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Touch of Eternity (The Curse #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Touch
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Dragon Rider
    $5.99 $1.99
    $4.99 $1.49
  • The Traitor's Kiss (The Traitor's Circle, #1)
    $7.80 $2.99
  • The Void of Muirwood (Covenant of Muirwood, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Dreadnought (Nemesis, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Dirty Magic (Prospero's War, #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • A Plague of Giants (Seven Kennings, #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Fire Queen (The Hundredth Queen, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Red Knight Falling (Harmony Black, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Star Wars: Thrawn
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Zoo City
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Sanctum (Guards of the Shadowlands, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Unmasked (The Vampire Diaries: The Salvation, #3)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • Afterlife
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Unseen (The Vampire Diaries: The Salvation #1)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • The Dwarves (The Dwarves, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Dryad-Born (Whispers from Mirrowen, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Unbroken Line of the Moon (Sagan om Valhalla #4; Valhalla #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Blackfish City
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Supernatural: Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting
    $8.49 $1.99
  • Silvern (Gilded #2)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Some Fine Day
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Random Acts of Senseless Violence
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Wicked Years, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Mystic (Mystic, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Almost Girl (The Riven Chronicles, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Spell or High Water (Magic 2.0, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Uprooted
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Wormhole (The Rho Agenda, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Dragons of Nova (Loom Saga, #2)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Ciphers of Muirwood (Covenant of Muirwood, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Last Adventure of Constance Verity
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Traveler (Fourth Realm, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Ancestor
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Thief's Daughter (Kingfountain, #2)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Darkness Brutal (The Dark Cycle #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Marked (Servants of Fate, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Into the Drowning Deep (Rolling in the Deep, #1)
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Poisonwell (Whispers from Mirrowen, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Rama II (Rama, #2)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Chaos (Guards of the Shadowlands, #3)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Secondborn (Secondborn, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Rama Revealed (Rama, #4)
    $8.99 $1.99
“Some people have great ideas maybe once or twice in their life, and then they discover electricity or fire or outer space or something. I mean, the kind of brilliant ideas that change the whole world.

Some people never have them at all... I get them two or three times a week.”
“This book started like this.
My son, who is called Michael or Mike these days, but was Mikey back then, was angry at me. I'd said one of those things that parents say, like «isn't it time you were in bed», and he had looked up at me, furious, and said, «I wish I didn't have a dad! I wish I had...» and then stopped and thought, trying to think of what one could have instead of a father. Finally he said «I wish I had goldfish!»”
More quotes…