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Fish Named Spot

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Simon wants a dog but can't have one because he's allergic to them. His zany aunt, fresh back from her travels, brings him a rare fish instead. Having no fish food, Simon gives the fish dog food left over from the one time he tried to keep a dog. The dog food has a startling effect: the fish grows large, jumps out of his bowl, and acts like a dog. Simon names him Spot and they go everywhere together. Spot even saves Simon from drowning in a frozen lake. Eventually Spot pines for his watery natural habitat, and ...
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Goldfinger, Jennifer P Boston, MA 2001 Hard cover First edition. Fine. Signed by author. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 32 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: ... Children/juvenile. Looks New. Signed and Inscribed edition. No DJ. Corner of book has tiny tare. 1/16" inch. Fast arrival. Shipped and protected in bubble wrap. Please leave us positive feedback Free USPS tracking. Signed and inscribed by Jennifer P. Goldfinger Read more Show Less

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Overview

Simon wants a dog but can't have one because he's allergic to them. His zany aunt, fresh back from her travels, brings him a rare fish instead. Having no fish food, Simon gives the fish dog food left over from the one time he tried to keep a dog. The dog food has a startling effect: the fish grows large, jumps out of his bowl, and acts like a dog. Simon names him Spot and they go everywhere together. Spot even saves Simon from drowning in a frozen lake. Eventually Spot pines for his watery natural habitat, and fills Simon's whole house with water while his parents are away, turning it into a giant fish bowl! How the house gets dry again and Spot returns to his normal fishlike state mark the climax of this funny book.

Author Biography: Jennifer P. Goldfinger works as a freelance writer and illustrator and lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with her husband and two daughters. The family's dog, Lyle, and fish, Kyle, were the inspiration for this, her first book for children.

When he feeds his new pet fish dog biscuits, Simon's wish for a dog comes true in a most unusual way.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The titular Spot isn't the only fishy element in this debut picture book, an ill-starred foray into fantasy. Simon longs for a pet, but last year, when his aunt Loretta indulged him with a puppy from England, Simon had a terrible allergic reaction. Now "crazy Aunt Loretta" makes a second attempt, this time breezing in from an African vacation with an exotic fish. Caught off guard, Simon has only dog biscuits to feed the fish, which he fondly calls Spot. Overnight, Spot outgrows his tank and begins acting just like a dog, wagging his tail and going for walks. But a dip in a nearby pond leaves Spot yearning for his piscine past, and he uses the garden hose to fill Simon's house with water. At this point, the Martha Speaks-style, you-are-what-you-eat joke spins out of control, and the text loses its internal logic. As boy and fish cavort through the aquarium-like house, Simon suddenly has a fish's capacities: he joins Spot in an underwater duet (Simon on clarinet, Spot on trumpet) and in swimming up the chimney. Highlights of Goldfinger's gouache paintings include a palette with plenty of zing and Spot's expressive fish face, but rubber-limbed human figures lack definition. Ages 6-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Simon wants a pet more than anything in the world. Aunt Loretta, a world traveler, brings him a dog from England. He loves his new pet but it makes him itch and sneeze. When she returns from Africa she brings a fish from Lake Tanganyika. She buys a fish tank but forgets to buy fish food. Simon decides to name his fish Spot, since that is what he had wanted to name his dog. That evening, Simon notices that Spot is looking droopy. Not having any fish food, Simon decides to give Spot some dog biscuits. When Simon wakes up the next morning Spot is gone. When he looks around, he sees Spot, as big as a dog. They play at the park, and Spot even learns to do tricks. One day, Spot hangs his fishy head. He misses his tank and water. Simon tries everything to make Spot happy but the fish wants his tank. The next day, Spot fills the house with water and swims in the living room, in the kitchen, in the bedroom┬żall over the house. When Simon's mother opens the door the water spills out and so do Simon and Spot. When Spot is found he is in a puddle, very happy. Now Simon takes Spot for walks but he stays in his tank. 2001, Little Brown, $14.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Karen Werner
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-In this whimsical story, Simon learns that he is allergic to the puppy his aunt brought him from England. Returning from a trip to Africa the following spring, she gives him a new pet, a fish from Lake Tanganyika. Simon calls the fish Spot, and, lacking fish food, feeds him biscuits. Within 24 hours, he is the size of a dog and begins to display canine behaviors. One winter day, Spot saves Simon, who has fallen through the ice on a pond, and soon begins to yearn for an aquatic environment. He fills the house with water, and boy and pet swim from room to room. In the kitchen, they eat fish-shaped crackers, which transform Spot back to his original size. Goldfinger's first effort has interesting touches, but overall it lacks polish. The author understands a child's sense of humor and imagination; the concept of swimming through a house flooded with water is intriguing; and the fish is indeed spotted, making his name apt on more than one level. Yet the lengthy text lacks an even flow, the ending of the story seems abrupt, the gouache illustrations are somewhat undeveloped and lack solidity, and humans are awkwardly portrayed. Libraries will be better served by Steven Kellogg's The Mysterious Tadpole (Dial, 1977; o.p.).-Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
You are what you eat in this unassuming story of a fish that wanted to be a dog, from newcomer Goldfinger. Young Simon had always wanted a dog, but when his globetrotting Aunt Loretta brings him one from England, his allergies kick in and the dog gets kicked out. On the next visit, Aunt Loretta brings him a fish from Africa. Then Simon feeds the fish, which he has named Spot, some dog biscuits, and Spot starts acting fishy-like a dog, that is. He might look like a big fish, but he behaves like a dog and he and Simon become fast friends. Then one day Spot gets a yearning for immersion in the liquid realm. So he turns on the hose and floods the house. He and Simon float through the rooms, frolicking about, until hunger sends them swimming to the kitchen. There they snack on little fish crackers and voilà: Spot returns to full-fledged fish status. Nothing particularly original here-there are, actually, some pretty loud echoes of children's books past-and the artwork is serviceable if nondescript and fairly literal. Yet the book's humility speaks well for it, as does its air of old-fashioned tall-tale storytelling. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316320474
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 4/1/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.26 (w) x 10.26 (h) x 0.39 (d)

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