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A Fish Out of Water Hardcover – Aug 12 1961

4.9 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (Aug. 12 1961)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394800230
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394800233
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 1 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Inside Flap

Illus. in color. "Comic pictures show how the fish rapidly outgrows its bowl, a vase, a cook pot, a bathtub."--"The New York Times.

About the Author

Helen Palmer conducts extended workshops, seminars, and training sessions on the Enneagram in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the country. She is the author of "The Enneagram in Love and Work"


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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I remember having this read to me as a young child, And now I read it to my son. He is just learning to read and will take it into his room to "read" by himself. I hear a lot of the actual words. but he seems to also make his own story up around what words he recognizes. I am glad it sparks his imagination. And, fishies.
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Format: Hardcover
I know that there are all sorts of fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm that all supposed to terrify little kids with stories about beasts in the woods and such. But when I look back on my childhood and recall the stories that gave me the wiggins, one of the books on that short list was "A Fish Out of Water" by Helen Palmer. Yes, this "I Can Read It All By Myself" book from the Cat in the Hat "Beginner Books" series with the illustrations by P.D. Eastman gave me the creeps. You see, this particular little tale has working in its favor a couple of scientific facts and I was reading this book at a time when our school class would go outside to watch the Mercury rockets take off from Cape Canaveral and we would go out to duck and cover in the school hallway during bomb drills. So it was clear to me at an early age how dangerous science could be.
The story in "A Fish out of Water" is quite simple. A young boy, not unlike myself except that he has long hair (relatively speaking in my case at that age), goes to the fish store and pick out a goldfish to purchase. The boy decides to call the fish Otto and is told by Mr. Carp the correct way to feed him: "When you feed a fish, never feed him a lot. So much and no more! Never more than a spot, or something may happen! You never know what!"
Of course the young boy does give Otto more than "so much" and he learns what happens when you feed a fish too much. One of the scientific principles here is that too much of good things can be very bad, especially is the good thing there is too much of is food for a fish. The other scientific principle is that goldfish tend to grow in size in proportion to the container in which they are contained.
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Format: Hardcover
There are five classic fish stories:

Jonah and the Whale, of which I need say nothing.

Moby Dick, which, I doubt I will ever read (Seriously, have you?), but its reputation is immense.

The Old Man and the Sea, which is one of two Hemingway novels I could manage to finish and I would call a great book.

Jaws, which I read and enjoyed, but, would not call great.

and -

A Fish Out of Water, which was published when I was two, in 1961, and I read with my mother when it was still pretty new. I remember the whole story to this day and still get a warm feeling thinking about it. Doesn't that tell you what you need to know? Buy it for your kid.

Bonus list - other great beginner's books in this old guy's memory: Any Dr. Seuss book, Go Dog Go, Are you My Mother, Harry the Dirty Dog, Put Me in the Zoo, Curious George and Harold and His Purple Crayon. Of course, for real beginners, Goodnight Moon.
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Format: Hardcover
If book devouring 3 yr old had a top ten list, this might be up there as number 9 or 10.....she has loved this book since she was about 2 yrs old and not only loves it but has transferred things from it to her everyday speech! Example: When she wants to stay up later then usual fro example , she says "Please Mommy, just so much and no more!" as quoted from the book..... also when I ask if she wants milk for example she says "Just a spot!"......and adds sometimes "You never know what can happen, you never know what!"
For awhile it WAS the bedtime book.....now we have gone on to other things but she never turns down this book if I ask her if she wants to read it....Mista KAR-p as she says in her NY accent.......
The downside of it being a bedtime book? It you want a SHORT story, this one is kinda long ....especially if you have a toddler you screams "AGAIN! AGAIN!" before you are even on the last page......: )
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Format: Hardcover
My three year old son has loved this book to be read over and over and over since he was two. The subject, combined with the pictures can help a child develop expressive language. When the fish keeps getting bigger, and the boy goes through all that trouble trying to move his fish, Otto, into bigger and bigger containers, my son's eyes get big and he gasps and looks at me and says "Oh no!"
This is a delightfull tale of a little boy who feeds his fish too much, and the extremly silly, or dire(depending on your age how you see it) consequences. In the end, the pet store owner comes to the rescue after the police and firemen have done thier part to try to help get the fish more comfortable. A good lesson about listening to, and following instructions, and asking for help when you need it is within the story.
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Format: Hardcover
I love A Fish Out of Water. The story is funny and fast paced. The little boy in the story doesn't listen when the pet store owner tells him to feed his fish, "so much and no more never more than a spot or something may happen and you never know what". The book details the funny antics of a fish that grows and grows. This book is perfect for every child's collection. The pictures are colorful and unique. The words and the story are predictable. Don't miss out on this wonderful story.
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