Book of the Month Archive

Memoirs of a Goldfish

By Devin Scillian, Illustrated by Tim Bowers
Published by Sleeping Bear Press
ISBN #9781585365074

Sometimes, when searching for the perfect story to share with your child, it is important to leave literacy acquisition strategies by the wayside and search for one thing, and one thing only: just plain fun. Scillian serves that up with his latest work of genius, Memoirs of a Goldfish.


In this book, our hero, the goldfish, shares a two week account of his life. He starts off happily swimming around his bowl – twice – but is soon joined by a variety of not so welcome roommates. Mr. Bubbles, the tank aerating diver is creepy, Mervin the snail who eats the slime off the side of the bowl is disgusting, Fred the crab, with his menacing pincers, is nothing short of terrifying.


As the poor goldfish has his bowl slowly taken over by new fish, sprawling plants, and ridiculous decorations, he finds himself losing more than just his privacy as his stress level rises, and pretty soon he can no longer even recognize his own reflection. The story comes to a climax when “with a whoosh, and a splash, and a clank, and a plunge” he suddenly finds himself all alone. It is only then when the fish realizes that his unwanted guests were more than just daily irritations; they were his companions.


In this story, the characters are rich, the message sweet, and the humour is laugh out loud goodness. Each child is sure to choose a very different favourite character to love, and is sure to choose this as the story that gets dragged out not only at bedtime, but anytime throughout the day. It is one that you will read over and over, and enjoy doing so. It is just plain fun.


For more information on the work and life of Devin Scillian, visit:

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