A Fish out of Water (book)
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|A Fish out of Water|
|Author(s)||Helen Palmer Geisel|
|Publication date||June 29, 1961 (renewed 1989)|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover and paperback)|
A Fish out of Water is a 1961 American children's book written by Helen Palmer Geisel, and illustrated by P. D. Eastman. The book is based on a short story by Palmer's husband Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), "Gustav the Goldfish", which was published with his own illustrations in Redbook magazine in June 1950.
The story is about a boy who buys a fish, named Otto, from a pet shop. The pet shop 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 ignores these instructions out of compassion for his new pet, Otto begins to outgrow his fishbowl. This leads the boy to move him into several different vases and a bathtub until the house fills up with water.
The boy 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. Mr. Carp is not surprised as boys always ignore his feeding instructions, and he comes as quickly as possible. Mr. Carp dives into the pool and pulls Otto below. Eventually, Mr. Carp brings the fish back up to the surface returned to its normal size. He refuses to say how he did it, but tells the boy to never overfeed Otto again. So, the boy decides after the adventures he had that day that he will never overfeed his fish again.
"Gustav the Goldfish", the short story that served as the basis for this book, was collected along with six other stories by Seuss originally published in magazines, in the 2011 collection The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories.
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