Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Favorite Gaiman Children's Book

My feelings about Neal Gaiman's books are all over the place. I'm a big fan of American Gods and Good Omens (written with Terry Pratchett). I thought Anansi Boys was clever and amusing enough. I thought Stardust was kind of run-of-the-mill. I didn't get The Sandman Nocturnes and Preludes, though I'd be willing to try it again. I didn't care for his children's books, Coraline and Wolves in the Walls.

But last night I read The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish. I loved it. The narrator of this picture book swaps his dad, who is intently reading the newspaper, for two goldfish. His mother insists he get his dad back, and he and his sister then have to follow their dad's trail--because he's been traded over and over again.

What's so terrific about this story is the total acceptance of this improbable premise.

My copy of the book--new to my library--appears to be a 2001 re-release. The book was originally published in 1997, before Coraline and Wolves. My copy included a CD at the back on which Gaiman reads the story. So serious Gaiman fans can hear his voice.


Kathy Q. said...

We must be second cousins three times removed (Vermont being the small place it is and/or was back when we were kids.) I share your opinions about Neil Gaiman's work. I've also thought long and hard about the different tones in "American Gods" and "Anansi Boys" and what they say about the underlying mythology. Now I'll have to go out and look for "The Day I Swapped My Dad...."

--And if this post works, it will be my first blog posting ever!

Gail Gauthier said...

Kathy--I left a comment on your blog earlier today, but just now realized who you are! I'll watch your blog now.