The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish

    (White Wolf, 1997-1998, 2004)
™ and ©1997 Dave McKean and Neil Gaiman

White Wolf Publishing released this picture book in 1997 (when Newsweek listed it as one of the best children’s books of the year), and there was a reprint, but the latest is larger, with a new cover and afterword. Moreover, [the most recent] edition includes a CD of Gaiman reading it. His delivery never fails to entertain, and the concept of a hardcover with CD for under $20 drove me to the bookstore for extra copies for family and friends.

The story (which, by the way, introduces kids to the concept of word balloons) is delicious nonsense that begins when a yearning for goldfish leads the young narrator to make the title’s bargain, overcoming the other boy’s argument, “I’ve got two goldfish and you’ve only got one dad.” The afterword explains the book’s origin, which began with Gaiman’s son’s heated, “I wish I didn’t have a dad! I wish I had goldfish!” of several years ago. McKean’s art perfectly supports the story, which is only deemed “children’s literature” because it has a better, more permanent format and costs more than traditional comic books. It rewards repeated rereadings—and relistenings.

— Maggie Thompson

Jump to issue:
  NotesWriterArtist

Book #1

  11/1/1998
  $14.99
  $14.50
No copies available
NN; Trade PaperbackNeil GaimanDave McKean

Book #1 Hardcover

  3/1/1997
  $21.99
  $50.00
1 copy available for $50.00
 Neil GaimanDave McKean

Book #1 Hardcover (2nd printing)

  7/1/1997
  $0.00
  $25.00
No copies available
 Neil GaimanDave McKean

Book #1 Hardcover (3rd printing)

 
  $16.99
  $16.99
No copies available
3rd printing; Packaged with audio CD; ca. 2004Neil GaimanDave McKean