"A Fish out of Water" by Helen Palmer
"he story is about a boy who buys a fish, named Otto, from a pet store. The
store owner, Mr. Carp, gives the boy instructions on how to care for the
fish, including strict feeding instructions: "Never feed him a lot. Never
more than a spot! Or something may happen. You never know what." When the
boy disobeys these instructions out of compassion for his new pet, Otto
begins to grow uncontrollably, quickly outgrowing his fishbowl. This leads
the boy to move him into a series of successively larger containers, ending
with the bathtub. When Otto outgrows the tub, the house begins to flood.
The boy then requests help from a police officer and the fire department,
who help him take Otto down to the local pool. There, they drop the fish
in, causing it to expand to the size of the pool and scare off all of the
swimmers. Unsure of what to do, the boy calls Mr. Carp. He is not surprised
as boys always ignore his feeding instructions. When Mr. Carp arrives, he
dives into the pool and pulls Otto below. Eventually, he emerges with the
fish, back to its normal size. He refuses to say how he did it but tells
the boy to never overfeed Otto again, and the boy takes his advice to
"In this beloved Beginner Book written by Mrs. Dr. Seuss (aka Helen
Palmer), a young boy hilariously learns the consequences of not following
instructions when he feeds too much to his goldfish—causing it to grow as
big as a whale! With delightfully retro illustrations by P.D. Eastman (Go,
the message of the book—that getting a pet is a big responsibility—is as
true today as it was when the book was published in 1961. Perfect for
beginning readers and read-alouds—and anyone getting a pet, especially a
fish—it's ideal for birthdays, holidays, and happy occasions of all kinds!
Launched in 1957 with The Cat in the Hat and written specifically for
emergent readers, Beginner Books combine an exacting blend of simple words
and fun pictures that encourage children to read—all by themselves.
"Comic pictures show how the fish rapidly outgrows its bowl, a vase, a cook
pot, a bathtub."--The New York Times. "
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