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Memoirs of a Goldfish
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Memoirs of a Goldfish

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  3,330 ratings  ·  461 reviews
With his bowl to himself, Goldfish loves his life...until one day...
A personal account from a goldfish on life in his bowl as other intruders crowd him.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Sleeping Bear Press
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Heather McC It's a great memoir for a younger set (think preschool and up) and an excellent tool to introduce emotions and feelings (ex. feelings are not bad, and…moreIt's a great memoir for a younger set (think preschool and up) and an excellent tool to introduce emotions and feelings (ex. feelings are not bad, and noticing how to tell how someone is feeling by their expression or words).(less)

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Average rating 4.36  · 
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 ·  3,330 ratings  ·  461 reviews

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Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kidstuff, fish-sticks
Take this opportunity to spend two weeks in the life of a goldfish.


Our fish is just getting used to his bowl when some other suspicious characters start showing up. Before you know it, the place is just swimming with interlopers, and our hero is screaming for a little alone time.


But, when he gets his wish, he's not sure that's what he wanted after all.

A very cute story, made all the more memorable by Tim Bowers' terrific artwork.

I really enjoyed this one!
Lisa Vegan
Sep 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all ages, for read aloud & independent readers, for fun and for bibliotherapy too
I love this picture book. It’s one of those books that can be enjoyed by readers/listeners of all ages, each person taking in the story in different ways.

It’s adorable and poignant, and often wildly amusing. This is a just for fun book, but it could work really well as a bibliotherapy book too. It’s silly but there is room here for much discussion about serious issues too.

It’s a fabulous read aloud book and wonderful for independent readers too.

The illustrations are outstanding. Their expressive
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Cute story that makes a great read aloud. Will serve as a mentor text when teaching memoir and personal narrative.
Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This story, as the title suggests, is the memoir of a fish. It starts out simply: "Day One: I swam around my bowl. Day Two: I swam around my bowl. Twice." But things don't stay that simple in the life of this fish. He soon gets some company, and things start to get complicated pretty quickly.

I don't believe I've ever seen Tim Bowers' illustrations before, but I absolutely love them! They are just so warm and inviting. And I love all the expressions on the face of the fish - mostly it's the eyes.
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I absolutely adore this book. Humorous and teaches a lesson about sharing with other people. I particularly love Mervin, what a great name for a snail! The illustrations are simple, clean, fun, and beautiful.
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, 2017
I am LOVING these books!!!!
Mar 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Young Children Who Have Difficulty Sharing, or Who Appreciate Animal Stories
Shelves: picture-books
With nothing to do but circle his small bowl, the eponymous goldfish hero of this lighthearted picture-book leads such a boring life that if fishes were able to sleep, he'd spend his days napping. Despite this fact, when company first appears, in the form of Mr. Bubbles (a toy figurine attached to a tube), he is less than pleased. Things only go from bad to worse however, as more additions - a garden of water plants, Mervin the slime-eating snail, Fred the grouchy crab, two guppies named Rhoda a ...more
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
A little surreal, in a good way. Good, because that subtle note makes it all the more appealing for all ages and for frequent rereads. Important themes included, but they're almost hidden by the exuberant art and funny storyline. Also, I agree with other reviewers who suggest it as a mentor text. And I'm glad I picked up the two sequels that my library had next to it.
Heather McC
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
One goldfish's quest for peace and harmony is met with mixed results. Not happy being alone, nor tickled pink to be in a crowded space, the fish learns to make the best of his situation. A great book for introducing emotions and feelings.
Silly and sweet on how fish's tank gets a bit too crowded.
Feb 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this yesterday with some third graders. The story of an increasingly frustrated and desperate fish who gets his wish only to wind up bored and lonely is adorable. It's also a great book to get into character for, which the kids love.
Elise Newkirk
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This story is a comedic look of the thoughts of an average household goldfish, and how he manages with multiple new neighbors moving into his fishbowl. With themes of sharing, and acceptance this story is able to teach valuable lessons in subtle ways. With cleverly written jokes, and multiple characters for the goldfish to meet, this story is a fun, and enjoyable read for someone regardless of their age.
Jenna Mackenzie
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Read aloud to my ELA class via Google Classroom during distance learning. LOVED reading this book, it is cute, heartfelt, and great for kids of all ages!
Mortisha Cassavetes
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2020
A wonderful book about taking care of fish and the aquarium. I love the beautiful illustrations. They are bright and colorful. I definitely recommend it to kids of all ages.
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lot can happen in a fort-night as a goldfish shares his memoirs of how he went from having the fishbowl to himself to gaining not just a community but a family.
Jul 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Audience: Primary

Genre: Picture Book

Pre-Reading Strategy: Picture Walk

A picture walk is a pre-reading strategy that allows the student to become familiar with the book before reading it. By looking at the pictures, the student is free to form hypotheses about the story and personally connect with the visuals of the book. When selecting a book for a picture walk, meaningful pictures are important to engage the student. The person facilitating the picture walk may ask prompting questions as the
Nadia Gonzalez
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Summary: Memoirs Of a Goldfish written by Devin Scillian is charming story told through the goldfish'scomments. A goldfish in his bowl alone, counting the number of times h swims around in his bowl. Day one, two, and three passes and to his surprise he gets some company. A deep see diver that is actually bubbler. This intruder is weird, creepy, and doesnt speak much thought the goldfish. The next day plants, a snail, a blue crab, and other fishes join the goldfis in his once lonley bowl. The gol ...more
Henna Patel
Feb 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Summary: Memoirs of a Goldfish By Devin Scillian. This is a very nice picture book that begins with a goldfish swimming in his bowl. After four days the goldfish starts to receive company. Days go by and he eventually ends up in a very crowded bowl. He has no room to swim and he becomes very upset. Eventually one day he is put into a separate but smaller bowl. At first the goldfish is okay with it because he got his space to swim again. Later he starts to think about everyone in the previous bow ...more
Samantha  DuPree
Sep 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: dupree-goodreads
“Memoirs of a Goldfish” by Devin Scillian is a wonderful picture book about a goldfish and his fish bowl home. The story starts on day one with the goldfish swimming around his fish bowl and continuing swimming till day four. On this day, a bubble submarine suit appears that the fish names Mr. Bubbles. Mr. Bubbles creeps the fish out because he doesn’t say anything. On day six and seven, the fish gets a bunch of plants and even a snail named Mervin that disgusts the fish because he eats slime o ...more
Erin Dixon
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
2011 Children's Choice
SUMMARY: Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian is a about the life of a goldfish, whose tank is being taken over by several different animals. Written from the fish's point of view, children will love the humor and the things that the fish says as he becomes more and more annoyed by his tank mates.
CRITIQUE: Memoirs of a Goldfish would be classified as fantasy if picture books were to go under certain genres because the main character is a talking fish. The setting is a f
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is adorable. It is written as diary entries of Goldfish, who loves swimming alone in his bowl, once, maybe twice a day. Then one day, his bowl gets company, and from that day on, his bowl gets more crowded. Plants, Mr. Bubbles, Mervin the snail, Fred the crab, Rhonda and Clark the guppies, an angel fish named Cha-Cha, are all put into Goldfish’s bowl and he is not happy with it. It is way too crowded and some fish just do not get along with each other. Then all the other fish and crab ...more
Jun 06, 2013 added it
Shelves: primary-books
Audience: Primary

Genre: Picture Book-Traditional Literature, Fable

Pre-Reading Strategy: Think-Pair-Share

Think: I will prompt the students with a question they can think about quietly.
"Have any of you ever had to share a room with a sibling? Or felt like your house was packed with people and all you wanted was some alone time? Have you ever been so irritated with the people around you because you had no personal space? Think of a time when you have felt like this.

Pair: Now turn to your table par
Kimber Carnahan
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: eced-221
Goldfish is very content by spending his days swimming around in his bowl. As Goldfish tells us of his adventures he has every day (such as swimming around his bowl the first day, and swimming around twice the second day) the reader gets a good laugh at his simple life. Things aren't so simple once Goldfish begins to gain some company - first Mr. Bubbles, then Mervin, Fred, and all the others. Goldfish does NOT like sharing his bowl with everyone! He finally gets his wish to be all alone again, ...more
Jenni Arndt
Dec 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Memoirs of a Goldfish was such a funny and heartwarming read! It's written as a daily account of Mr. Goldfish's tank being invaded by new decorations/plants/fish. I really like that the author chose to tell the story in journal form, the frankness of the entries elicited many laughs out of both my husband and I & especially our children.

The illustrations are very adorable; the big, bug eyes on the fish and the wispy, lifelike plants were perfect. As the bowl gets filled up we even zoom in on the
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a great story and the pictures are just adorable. Bright, colorful illustrations and just looking at the facial expressions on the fish are enjoyable and tell a lot about how the story is being played out. The pictures center on a fishbowl as it gets congested with an assortment of vibrant, detailed items. Told in diary format this is a chronological story of a goldfish who thinks this life is grand just swimming around in his bowl and day-by-day things start to arrive in his bowl and it st ...more
Mar 27, 2013 rated it liked it
This is the story of a goldfish who happily lives in a bowl by himself. But gradually, his bowl get more and more crowded with intruders. It's a story about community and friendship, and how people are better off living in community with others even if those people get on your nerves every once in a while. It's a very positive and adorable book with a neat, happy ending and concise text.

This book could be used to learn about animals, particularly fish or pets, and of course has great lessons abo
Ashley Steffen
Audience: This book would be appropriate for boys or girls. I think second or third graders would be the best students to read this book to. Some of the humor in this book might be lost on younger readers. It would be an easy read for these grade levels, vocabulary-wise, so it would be a good choice for those who struggle with reading.
Appeal: This book is definitely humorous. It would be a very entertaining book for students. It has bright, vivid pictures with a lot going on.
Application: I woul
Jill Nelsen
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: state-awards
"Today we are going to read "Memoirs of a Goldfish," just from the title whose point of view do you think this book will be from?
Has anyone every heard the word Memoir before? A memoir tells of a person's experiences. (From the picture on the front cover)
What kind of experience do you think this book maybe about?"

Opening moves used:
Alert children to unusual features of the text such as its structure or narrator. I drew attention to the fact that the book is from the perspective of a goldfish.
Bethley Giles
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: libs642
Scillian, D., & Bowers, T. (2010). Memoirs of a goldfish. Ann Arbor, MI: Sleeping Bear Press.
Picture Book Soak

This is the story of a goldfish who gives readers a firsthand account of his life in a crowded fishbowl, but soon realizes that being surrounded by others is better than being all alone. The illustration on the cover of this book (a sad goldfish crammed into a bowl and holding up a sign that says “help,”) along with the bold type of the title, was very eye-catching, and I had to read it.
Carole P. Roman
Dec 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great book in a sort of diary form that tracks two weeks in the life of a goldfish. Swimming in a solitary tank, he must adapt as his life changes and new items clutter his world. A diver, a snail, guppies of the verge of spawning aggravate our goldfish and he longs for the solitude of his empty tank. For some reason, everything disappears and he finds himself alone getting his longed for wish of solitude and somehow doesn't enjoy it as much as he remembered. Wonderful way to teach about appreci ...more
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