A Father’s Day picture book which will be perfectly enjoyed by slightly older children due to the madcap storyline which is guaranteed to leave them giggling.
The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish tells the story of, well, just that. Our main character’s little sister tells on him after he succumbs to pressure and hands over his dad to Nathan in return for two very tempting goldfish. Well when dad sits in the corner all dad reading his newspaper, what’s a guy to do?
“My dad doesn’t pay attention to anything, when he’s reading his newspaper.”
Mum is not impressed and sends him out to get dad back.
What follows is a hilarious spiralling chase for dad, because Nathan has already swapped dad with Vashti Sing for an electric guitar, and Vashti has already swapped him for …. well you get the picture right?
Gaiman’s writing is witty and perceptive. The bickering between siblings and the conversations between peers are wonderfully realistic.
McKean’s muted palate serves to highlight the childrens’ perceived boredom of the adult world. It also serves to lift this book away from more stereotypical notions of how a picture book should look and feel.
Dave McKean utilises a graphic novel based structure to bring this story to life. The strong focus on dialogue matches this style perfectly as it brings a dynamic feel to the plot. Both Gaiman and McKean have a plethora of experience and talent in this area – it’s great to see such talent being poured in to a children’s book.