My Pet Goldfish by Catherine Rayner

My Pet Goldfish by Catherine Rayner

The latest release from Catherine Rayner is My Pet Goldfish. A beautiful blend of fiction and non-fiction in one. I’m sure you have heard of Catherine’s work and enjoyed one of her book. If the name isn’t familiar you’ll be sure to recognise one of her books. She has a timeless, exquisiteness to her work and you can’t help but fall into her spreads whether your an adult or a child.

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Catherine is a multi award winning author and illustrator including the Kate Greenaway Medal. Discover all of Catherine’s books on her website where you can order signed copies; signed copies make a beautiful gift.

My Pet Goldfish Snapshot Review

🐠 My Pet Goldfish 🐠

🤎Fiction/non-fiction hybrid
❤️Goldfish/ Pets
💛Perfect for #ENWCPondWeek
💚Nature lover
💙Growth – ideal for #BritishScienceWeek
💜Breathtakingly illustrated

My Pet Goldfish Publisher Write Up

A charming new Nature Storybook all about looking after goldfish – inspired by the author’s own pet fish.

My Pet Goldfish is a delightful picture book with facts by the Greenaway Medal-winning author-illustrator Catherine Rayner. The child narrating this story has been given their first ever pet: a tiny fish with shimmering scales and bright beady eyes… Their very own goldfish! Sitting alongside the gentle narrative and dynamic illustrations, the subtext introduces facts about goldfish and their care – some gentle, some funny, some fascinating – making this a perfect choice for first-time owners.

My Review

My daughter Floss is very much a fiction book reader rather than a non-fiction reader. This book is one of those clever hybrids where you get a story with little clips of facts interspersed throughout the text.

The illustrations are as you would expect from Catherine Rayner – absolutely stunning. Floss adored looking at the different fish and thought the images were beautiful.

The book tells the story of a pet goldfish Richard and his transition from goldfish-bowl pet to outdoor fish in a pond. I learnt that a group of goldfish is called a troubling and Floss loved that the little fish were called frys.

For me this is the ideal text to whet Floss’s appetite into the world of non-fiction books and give her the pleasure of learning facts through what she reads.

You can find out a little more from Catherine about My Pet Goldfish on her blog here. Richard the goldfish was her childhood pet and she has a real penchant for goldfish!

Draw like Catherine

Catherine has a lovely selection of drawing tutorials that you can access on her website here. They’re ideal for budding artists. I always find learning the steps behind how artists produce their masterpieces so fascinating.

The link above is for a behind the scenes look at all things My Pet Goldfish. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this video. I hope you do too. Catherine also has an increasing bank of activities to accompany some of her books. They can be found here.

Learning Through Play

I love to explore books using a few props to make it a more sensory experience. There are several resources that I would not be without as they really help to bring an immersive experience to life. My top items include:

  • Coloured scarves/ silks – we have a selection of these and picking out two or three key colours from the text works well. If you have a reader/ listener who needs to be able to touch things letting them play with a scarf and run it through their fingers is perfect. As I say we have a selection of scarves/ silks we use. I’ve got a selection of baby muslins from when Floss was little that I use – there are a great selection in beautiful colours here. We’ve also got a set of bright rainbow scarves (here is an example of these) and we also love Sarah’s Silks.
  • Scenery – this can be anything. It could be leaves and plants from your garden, it can be homemade from junk modelling or sewing or you can purchase scenery items. My advice if you are purchasing these items is to get items that can be used for multiple purposes. You can find a selection of scenery items here – ‘first5’ gets you £5 off your first order valid until 30th June 2022.
  • Characters – small world play people and animals are a lovely addition to story play. We have a selection of these for lots of different themes. Some people like to collect all of one type of set but we have an eclectic mix of characters that have taken our fancy. The fish in the image above are from Eric and Albert. We also love the ‘realness’ of Schleich but adore our wooden animals and fabric fairies from Wee Small Folk (keep up to date on their socials to find the next drop).

Bookworm Buzz – Book News

If you’d love to keep up to date on children’s book news then head to my updates here. Weekly posts will resume August 2023 for now check out Reading Rambles. It’s perfect for all book lovers including parents, teachers and librarians. You can find lots including –

❤️Book News
🧡New Book Releases
💛Books for Nature Explorers
💜Great Reads

Buying Books

Buying books and more importantly where to buy books is often a topic of contention. For me it’s about books being accessible to all. Growing up we didn’t have ‘online’ shopping. I would use any money that I was given on special occasions to shop in my local bookshop. Mainly, books that I had came from libraries both community and school.

Now I gather books from a range of sources. I still love libraries and before the pandemic used to frequent charity shops to find treasures. If I’m purchasing books new then I tend to purchase from a range of places including Indies and other High Street names – often when they have offers on. You can click on the links below to take you to that bookseller.

I rarely purchase books on Amazon, but when I was a student and cost was a very important factor for me then it was my go to. I also know that Amazon is a very important place for authors and illustrators when it comes to reviews of their books and I use Amazon to find out what others thought about a book and get an inside peep. You can leave reviews on Amazon even when you have purchased from elsewhere.

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