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A Fish Out of Water

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Illus. in color. "Comic pictures show how the fish rapidly outgrows its bowl, a vase, a cook pot, a bathtub."--The New York Times.  


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Illus. in color. "Comic pictures show how the fish rapidly outgrows its bowl, a vase, a cook pot, a bathtub."--The New York Times.  

30 review for A Fish Out of Water

  1. 4 out of 5

    Srividya

    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 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 is necessary and the fish starts growing big. What happens next to the boy and the fish is told in such a beautiful manner, with such wonderful illustrations that it made for a perfect read with my daughter. However, the best part of the story was my daughter pausing after every page and explaining the story to me. I am one proud mother today and an extremely happy one too. Here's looking forward to some great buddy reads with my daughter in the future. :) :) All five stars go to Shrija for making my day a perfect one :) :)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Archit Ojha

    When your parents ask you to not feed the fish much, for once, you should listen to their advice! Read it to see what happens when you don't follow the rules!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Pooja

    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? 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?

  4. 4 out of 5

    Brad

    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 - 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 -- and turned it into A Fish Out of Water. It is a quaint little story. Sorta cute. Sorta fun. Sorta moral. Yet it is easy to see why Seuss abandoned the idea. It doesn't go anywhere, and Palmer can't save it from itself. There is only a hint of Seussian language, just a touch of his playful rhyming, and I can't help wondering if Palmer lifted that section from Seuss original. Regardless, what I saw (imagined) while reading this was a person, likely talented in her own right, intimately linked to one of the true greats in their field. She couldn't reach his level. Not ever. So there she was, completing his abandoned stories, feeling, however incorrectly, that she was only publishing her work because of her link to her husband, and feeling a failure, feeling unworthy. I imagine it is similar to what EL James' husband must be feeling right about now. Here's a little piece of advice. No artist, in any discipline, should ever marry someone in their discipline. It leads to tragedy. I can't see myself reading this story to Scoutie too often. Just the thought of it depresses me, but it is not bad. It is worth a read or two. Just don't keep anything I've written here in mind. Maybe I should put a meta-spoiler alert at the top of this? One other thought ... who gets the royalties to Palmer's work? I wonder if it is Seuss' second wife. How depressing would that be?

  5. 5 out of 5

    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 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 FEED MY FISH TOO MUCH?" At the very least, in a humorous way, it tries to teach children to be responsible and listen the first time, particularly when caring for pets. Mostly, though, it's goofy and funny and light-hearted. And I love it :)

  6. 4 out of 5

    DadReads

    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 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 from cancer and partial paralysis. For the last few years of Helen’s life, Dr Seuss was having an affair with the woman who would later become his second wife. In 1967 an ill, depressed and heartbroken Helen committed suicide by an overdose of barbiturates. Maybe there was a reason there was no such blurb. We’ll get to A Fish Out of Water shortly, but first a little more on Helen Palmer. In 1927, Helen married Theodore Geisel, known to friends as Ted, and later known to the world as Dr Seuss. Ted Geisel wanted to become a teacher but Helen, six years his senior, encouraged him to make a career from his artwork. She was his editor, advisor, business manager and inspiration. She co-founded the “Beginner Books” imprint - you’d recognise the Cat in the Hat logo – in 1957. And yet, a decade later Helen was dead. Within a year of her suicide Dr Seuss remarried. His second wife, Audrey, is still alive and in her mid-90s continues to serve as president of Dr Seuss Enterprises. There seems little doubt that the younger Audrey provided a renewed inspiration for Dr Seuss, who was 64 when he married for the second time. His niece Peggy described Helen’s death as “her last and greatest gift to him”. Her suicide note speaks for itself: "Dear Ted, What has happened to us? I don't know. I feel myself in a spiral, going down down down, into a black hole from which there is no escape, no brightness. And loud in my ears from every side I hear, 'failure, failure, failure...' I love you so much ... I am too old and enmeshed in everything you do and are, that I cannot conceive of life without you ... My going will leave quite a rumor but you can say I was overworked and overwrought. Your reputation with your friends and fans will not be harmed ... Sometimes think of the fun we had all thru the years ..." She might have heard “failure, failure, failure” from every side, but few people have given the world more joy than Helen Palmer. She gave the world Dr Seuss. But for her prodding, he might never have gone beyond the cartoons he drew as a college student. And Helen Palmer’s name also lives on as an author herself. But even there she remains in her husband’s giant shadow, for A Fish Out of Water in fact originated as a short story by Dr Seuss, titled Gustav the Goldfish. It was originally published in a magazine in 1950, with the trademark Seuss rhymes and illustrations. You can see a comparison here. A decade later, he gave Helen permission to revise the story to make it a suitable “Beginner Book”, which required a more basic vocabulary. In hindsight, the absurd premise is pure Seuss. A boy buys a pet goldfish and, against the advice of the pet-store owner, overfeeds it. The fish quickly outgrows every vessel in which the boy tries to house it, until even the local swimming pool is becoming too small to hold it. At this point the pet-store owner, Mr Carp, dives with a mysterious toolbox and magically returns the fish to its original size. The illustrations by P. D. Eastman – a protégé of Dr Seuss – bring a charming realism to the preposterous story. Eastman’s drawings are much truer to life than the zany art of Dr Seuss, and something about the realistic looking figures – the baffled policeman and the concerned fireman – make it easy for a child to put themselves in the position of the little boy, to think maybe this really could happen! I had never heard of Gustav the Goldfish until researching this blog, and I don’t know if I’d have preferred the Seussian version as a kid or A Fish Out of Water. They each appeal in different ways. All I can say with certainty is that I loved A Fish Out of Water and that Helen Palmer, despite her tragic end, was no failure. http://dadreads.blogspot.co.uk/2016/0...

  7. 5 out of 5

    BlackhamBoys

    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 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 grow, the water would just get so dirty they might die.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Eileen

    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.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rossy

    Fun and highly original story, it emphasizes in a funny way the importance of following directions.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dawn C.

    This is a cute story about overfeeding a fish and the imagination behind the writing is amazing.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jadalynn

    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 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 drawings might. When the boy is on the phone there are two circles, one with the boy and the other with Mr Carp almost like a split screen. The thing is they don’t quite stay in their circles, their head, or hand might pop out of them which just adds a clever little detail. Every child should be able to think of a time where they made a mistake like the boy in the story which makes it relatable. In a class room each child could even share a story about a mistake they once made. It’s amazing the silly stories that happen in real life. Otto’s story could never happen, but sometimes fact really is stranger than fiction.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Maureen Jehling

    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! 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! It has such a crazy plot-twist that gets children hyped up as they read it because none of them have seen anything like it. It teaches a lesson to take care of your pets if you have any and to always give them the appropriate amounts of fuel. While this book doesn't necessarily give exact pointers of how to care for a fish, it does show children what can happen if they don't follow directions, because taking care of another living thing is a big deal. I recommend this book!

  13. 5 out of 5

    SheAintGotNoShoes

    This book was written the year I was born and I probably read it for the first time 4-5 years later. It was a favorite of mine then and I have to admit 50+ years on, it still made me smile. A++++++

  14. 4 out of 5

    Debby Baumgartner

    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.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alyson

    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

  16. 5 out of 5

    Judy Wollin

    This story is about a little fish grows to big. Because the boy feeds him too much. I think the boy’s name might be Blake. It’s not in the book. I liked that Mr Carp made the fish again. I read this aloud to Nanna. Recommended for Nannies and Mummy and other kids 5 years or more. Read and reviewed by Tina aged 5 years in Prep.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Mr. Carp *told* the narrator not to feed his new fish, Otto, too much, but our narrator did not listen. Otto grew bigger and bigger and had to transfer to bigger bowls, pots and pans, a bathtub, and a swimming pool! [spoiler] It was lucky that Mr. Carp had seen this kind of problem before and was able to restore Otto by the end.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bill W

    Thank goodness for Mr. Carp!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa Peterson

    This book is read every single night in my house. So I'm counting it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    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 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 does something that makes the fish small again. This is a silly book, but it is probably about how we should listen to professionals because, well, they are professionals. Okay, there is a lot of silly and unbelievable aspects to this book. First of all, you cannot put any fish into a swimming pool (unless the fish is salt water and the swimming pool is a salt water swimming pool, though I suspect that the salt concentration is higher than that in the ocean) because the chlorine will kill the fish. Even then, I have a feeling that the amount of time that this fish was out of water would no doubt have killed him. However, that is all irrelevant because this is a kid's book and is designed to have an amusing story that will appeal to the children and also teach them a lesson (and that is listen to professionals because they don't tell you things just because they are a professional – well, not always, but that is a whole separate topic for another time). However, I think we also need to have some discernment because not all professionals are right (as people have discovered during the Global Financial Crisis) and that sometimes they are only out for themselves and are more than willing to take your money in that regards. However, that is getting a bit too much for this particular book, because we are dealing with fish and what we should feed it. As such, if somebody tells us not to feed a dog chocolate then, I guess, we probably shouldn't be feeding the dog chocolate.

  21. 5 out of 5

    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 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 then something happen. The fish (Otto) out grew the little fish bowl that he was in, he changed the bowl to a flower bowl then changed to small pot to larger pot but still growing then change to bath top but still Otto the fish still growing. He then called the police, the police came to help him and narrated his dilema. The police called the firemen, the fire men took Otto to the pool but people in pool don't like him in the pool so the little boy called Mr. Carp the fish seller and narrated what happened to Otto. so Mr. Carp went to the pool with him with a black box and Mr Carp put Otto back into little box and gave the little boy Otto and asked him not to overfeed the fish (Otto) again. the little boy now learnt his lesson not to overfeed his fish. Learning Experience: I will read this book to the children and teach them how to follow the rules or instruction given to them Feeding: I will also discuss about overfeeding self during breakfast, lunch and dinner. discuss how overfeeding can affect them. Vocabulary: I will teach them words like big large larger and largest,policeman Fireman, pool. Extension: Bring a small fish in a small bow to the classroom to demonstrate what a fish look like and how to feed a small fish.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    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 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 lost on the reader, however, because of the engaging, funny tale about a fish that just keeps getting bigger! I have no doubt that any child would be completely engrossed in the cute story and be reading it on their own before long. c. The light rhyme scheme of the book keep the text flowing, but still simple by rhyming words like “lot, spot, and not.” The reader will quickly recall the story because it is so much fun, but in the process he or she will begin to recognize basic vocabulary. 4. A preschool or kindergarten class would be a great place to introduce this book as a read aloud because the students could begin to see these commonly used words and hear them used as well. Little kids will get a kick out of a fish in a bathtub, but will also begin to understand the use of simple, everyday words.

  23. 5 out of 5

    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. This 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. This book is a good example of learning from your mistakes and listening to instructions. The boy was told that he must never over feed Otto but he decided to not listen to his given instructions which caused much stress and annoyance around the town. You could use this book to teach a child about owning a first pet or a fish specifically. It would also be useful is teaching students about doing what they are told.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Yahira Romero

    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 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 reading this book because its correct we all disobey at some point and then learn from our mistakes. If we don't make a mistake we as humans will never grow. This is good for young children to reflection on and follow the directions.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sara Bland

    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 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 would be appropriate for children in grades pre-K through 1st.

  26. 5 out of 5

    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.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jbaccon

    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!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    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.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cat

    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.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    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!

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