Picturebook Review: Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet

Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet, written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Bob Shea, is a picturebook full of fishy fun. Gilbert the goldfish might look like a fish with everything. He has a cool tank, with clean water, a castle, and food that floats down from the sky. But Gilbert longs for something, he wants a pet to love. He imagines a slew of interesting pets. Animals come to visit his bowl, but nothing seems to work out. Then one day Gilbert gets a whiskered surprise. Could this be the pet of his dreams, and can goldfish even have pets?

Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet is fun and delightful. The illustrations by Bob Shea hold true to his consistent quality and style, he has yet to disappoint. Kelly DiPucchio's words are just as charming as the illustrations they are paired with. Gilbert's imagining of having an elephant as a pet will make any child giggle, I know it made me giggle. Gilbert's sadness with the visiting mouse did not return flooded his bowl, and then some. There is even a surprise as to what the whiskered pet at the end of the story is, and no I refuse to ruin it for you here.

I highly recommend Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet for home, school, and library collections. It would do well for reading aloud one on one, in small groups, or in a large storytime. The illustrations are vivid enough that no listener would miss a thing. It would also do well for those young readers that want to look at and try to read books on their own. I will have a hard time prying this one out of my kid's hands in order to return the book to the library in time. I think I just might need to buy my own copy, and the entire Bob Shea body of work as well.

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