Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet by Kelly DiPucchio
Illustrated by Bob Shea
Published by Dial Books for Young Readers
For a goldfish, Gilbert is living the high life. He has a nice clean fishbowl with a magnificent stone castle, a treasure chest, and shiny tasty flakes of food fall from the sky just when he needs them. But there is one problem: Gilbert Goldfish really, really wants a pet. He dreamed about it all the time! He wanted to know what it was like to have something "to care for and love." One day, he thought his luck had changed when the heard barking outside his fishbowl. And for a while everything was great; "he swam around and around in happy circles. The dog ran around and around in happy circles too." But the dog barked and barked and even drank water from the fish tank! So Gilbert was actually relieved when the dog was gone.
A mouse came next, but after running around the fishbowl, getting Gilbert all excited, he realized the fish was not cheese and left. "Gilbert's little fishy heart went pitter-patter-plop." Then a fly...poor thing got squashed right in front of Gilbert. Brokenhearted, "he cried enough tears to fill a ten-gallon aquarium." And then, Gilbert sees the shadow of a new creature before him, with whiskers and a large body. Could this be the pet he had always wanted?
Gilbert Goldfish is delightful, cute and funny. The theme of someone wanting a pet has been quite popular during the last couple of years, but DiPucchio has found a refreshing twist with a surprising ending. Shea's illustrations are vibrant and exciting. And the last six pages are...you'll see!