Where do fish go during vacations?
It seems as though it’s going to be an ordinary summer for three white children (named H, Little O, and Baby Em), their grandfather, and their goldfish (named Barracuda, Patch, and Fiss)—until a sign appears outside an abandoned nearby fountain that changes everything. “COMING IN TWO WEEKS! CALLING ALL GOLDFISH LOOKING FOR A SUMMER HOME,” it says. Soon a man comes to clean and landscape the fountain, and not long after that, it’s time for the neighborhood children to drop off their fishy charges! Clear, jovial text and appealing, retro-styled illustrations rendered in pencil and Photoshop portray a diverse New York neighborhood full of youngsters, many of whom spend a summer eagerly visiting their pets and listening to Grandpa’s stories of summers past. Before the kids know, it, summer has ended, and it’s time to find their fish (Are they sure they have the right ones? Grandpa seems to know…), and the adventure is over until next year. “Anyway, who says you have to leave the city to have a vacation?” asks Grandpa. An author’s note reveals that for 13 years many of New York City’s goldfish actually went on vacation in Hamilton Fountain before its 2009 restoration.
A charming, gently humorous, accessible story based on a real-life occurrence that’s sure to capture the imaginations of young readers and listeners alike. (Picture book. 3-6)