100 books like Memoirs of a Goldfish

By Devin Scillian, Tim Bowers (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Memoirs of a Goldfish fans have personally recommended if you like Memoirs of a Goldfish. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Pout-Pout Fish

Kelly Bennett Author Of Not Norman: A Goldfish Story

From my list on “finny” picture books about fish.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love fish—to look at and read about—not to eat! Fish are unlike other pets. You can’t hold them, or pet them, and you certainly can’t “play” with them the way you can other pets. But for some reason, just looking at them makes me laugh. And because fish don’t say much besides “glug” (although some kinds sing and grunt) we need to imagine what they are thinking and feeling which makes for funny and surprising stories. And, yes, I have pet goldfish: an orange one, Norman, and a black fantail named Knot. 

Kelly's book list on “finny” picture books about fish

Kelly Bennett Why did Kelly love this book?

Pout-Pout fish is a grumpy looking, grumpy acting fish who “spreads the dreary-wearies all over the place” and everyone he encounters tries to talk him out of being grumpy. Simple as that, but not! The Pout-Pout Fish books, every one of them, combines three elements that make a fabulous read-aloud: fun/interesting to look at; fun and easy to read; fun satisfying ending. Diesen’s Pout-Pout bouncy rhyming rhythm will jolly the grumpy out of everyone—whether fish or human. Yes, the refrain will get stuck in your heads—in a good way!

By Deborah Diesen, Dan Hanna (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Pout-Pout Fish as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER

"Deep in the water,
Mr. Fish swims about
With his fish face stuck
In a permanent pout.

Can his pals cheer him up?
Will his pout ever end?
Is there something he can learn
From an unexpected friend?"

Swim along with the pout-pout fish as he discovers that being glum and spreading "dreary wearies" isn't really his destiny. Bright ocean colors and playful rhyme come together in Deborah Diesen's fun fish story that's sure to turn even the poutiest of frowns upside down.


Book cover of Swimmy

Kelly Bennett Author Of Not Norman: A Goldfish Story

From my list on “finny” picture books about fish.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love fish—to look at and read about—not to eat! Fish are unlike other pets. You can’t hold them, or pet them, and you certainly can’t “play” with them the way you can other pets. But for some reason, just looking at them makes me laugh. And because fish don’t say much besides “glug” (although some kinds sing and grunt) we need to imagine what they are thinking and feeling which makes for funny and surprising stories. And, yes, I have pet goldfish: an orange one, Norman, and a black fantail named Knot. 

Kelly's book list on “finny” picture books about fish

Kelly Bennett Why did Kelly love this book?

The classic “David and Goliath” theme of a smaller hero conquering a mighty adversary—but with a fishy twist! A school of small red fish and one black fish, Swimmy, all live together happily until “one bad day” a huge tuna gobbles up all the red fish. Only Swimmy, who is faster than the others, gets away. At first Swimmy is lonely without his friends but then bravely begins exploring the wonders of the sea. When Swimmy finds a new school of red fish, he tries to get them to come out to play. But they are too afraid to go out because a big fish might eat them. Then Swimmy gets an idea. He trains the school of small red fish to swim in formation like one big fish, with him as the eye. 

By Leo Lionni,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Swimmy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

The gorgeous, Caldecott Honor-winning tale of a very clever fish by beloved picture book creator Leo Lionni.

Deep in the sea lives a happy school of fish. Their watery world is full of wonders, but there is also danger, and the little fish are afraid to come out of hiding . . . until Swimmy comes along. Swimmy shows his friends how—with ingenuity and team work—they can overcome any danger.

Winner of the 1964 Caldecott Honor, this beloved tale of a brave little fish has been a favorite to generations of readers. To celebrate Swimmy's fiftieth anniversary, we are issuing…


Book cover of Louis the Fish

Kelly Bennett Author Of Not Norman: A Goldfish Story

From my list on “finny” picture books about fish.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love fish—to look at and read about—not to eat! Fish are unlike other pets. You can’t hold them, or pet them, and you certainly can’t “play” with them the way you can other pets. But for some reason, just looking at them makes me laugh. And because fish don’t say much besides “glug” (although some kinds sing and grunt) we need to imagine what they are thinking and feeling which makes for funny and surprising stories. And, yes, I have pet goldfish: an orange one, Norman, and a black fantail named Knot. 

Kelly's book list on “finny” picture books about fish

Kelly Bennett Why did Kelly love this book?

Looking for vegetarian options? This Reading Rainbow selection, published in 1980, is a masterpiece in story and art! Louis, who was born into a family of butchers, hates meat. But he loves watching fish! After his parents die, Louis inherits the butcher business. One night, Louis, who is miserable being a butcher, dreams he is a fish. When he wakes, he discovers he is a fish. A salmon. A very happy salmon who swims gleefully ever after. The story is a springboard for discussions on the importance of being true to yourself.

By Arthur Yorinks, Richard Egielski (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Louis the Fish as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

An unhappy butcher from Flatbush finally achieves happiness.


Book cover of Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet

Kelly Bennett Author Of Not Norman: A Goldfish Story

From my list on “finny” picture books about fish.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love fish—to look at and read about—not to eat! Fish are unlike other pets. You can’t hold them, or pet them, and you certainly can’t “play” with them the way you can other pets. But for some reason, just looking at them makes me laugh. And because fish don’t say much besides “glug” (although some kinds sing and grunt) we need to imagine what they are thinking and feeling which makes for funny and surprising stories. And, yes, I have pet goldfish: an orange one, Norman, and a black fantail named Knot. 

Kelly's book list on “finny” picture books about fish

Kelly Bennett Why did Kelly love this book?

Do you ever wondering if your pet might want a pet? Gilbert is a goldfish who absolutely does. So, when pet candidates begin showing up, Gilbert’s “fishy little heart” pitter-patter-swishes delightedly. But the dog was too barky-bark, the sniffy mouse was rude and the fly…went splat! Gilbert had all but given up when what seems to be the purrfect pet comes sniffing around—looking very hungry! Bold bright cheerful art and language make this a must read-aloud! 

By Kelly DiPucchio, Bob Shea (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

Gilbert has almost everything his fishy heart could desire: a castle, a chest filled with treasure, and food that falls from the sky. But there's one BIG thing missing from his life: a pet. And so begins Gilbert's harrowing search for the perfect fishbowl companion - a search filled with loud barking, quiet buzzing, and one giant whiskered surprise!

With snappy, rhythmic text and the most irresistible goldfish in picture book history, this tale of fish woe and triumph will make readers long for a pet as lovable as Gilbert.

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Book cover of Gray Goldfish: Navigating the Gray Areas to Successfully Lead Every Generation

Mark Beal Author Of ZEO: Introducing Gen Z – The New Generation Of Leaders

From my list on inspiring creativity, transformation, and innovation.

Why am I passionate about this?

For more than 30 years I have been immersed in creative public relations and marketing from campaign development and activation to effectively engaging the primary consumer audiences. Me and my teams developed campaigns around such major sports and entertainment properties as the Olympic Games, Super Bowl, and The Rolling Stones. No matter your industry, inspiration for creativity, transformation, and innovation can come from many sources including the compelling storytelling featured in the books that I recommend.  

Mark's book list on inspiring creativity, transformation, and innovation

Mark Beal Why did Mark love this book?

I knew Stan before he was an author and one of the world’s leading experts on helping organizations worldwide increase customer loyalty, improve employee retention and generate positive word-of-mouth.

Stan is one of the most creative marketers I know, and one of the most engaging keynote speakers. His series of goldfish books are insightful and inspiring whether and employer or brand marketer.

Gray Goldfish is very relevant today as companies big and small are attempting to understand and lead an unprecedented multigenerational workplace.

By Stan Phelps, Brian Doyle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gray Goldfish as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How do you successfully lead the five generations in today’s workforce?

You need the tools to navigate. Filled with over 100 case studies and the Generational Matrix, Gray Goldfish provides the definitive map for leaders to follow as they recruit, train, manage, and inspire across the generations.

We believe the recipe for successfully leading across these five generations is not a one-size-fits-all solution. We believe the recipe comes from understanding nuances and being able to treat each team member as an individual. This involves going beyond the “Golden Rule” and treating others how you would like to be treated. Gray…


Book cover of The Fourteenth Goldfish

Summer Rachel Short Author Of The Mutant Mushroom Takeover

From my list on sci-fi books for kids who think they don’t like Sci-Fi.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up with a scientist dad who often discussed bits of research or new discoveries around the dinner table. I didn’t follow in his footsteps and get a Ph.D., but I did develop a fascination with scientific happenings, particularly of the weird or unexplained variety. In college, I worked as the science reporter for my university’s newspaper, where I wrote on topics like nanotech tweezers, poultry farm pollution, and the nighttime habits of spiders and snakes. I’m also the author of two science fiction books for young readers.

Summer's book list on sci-fi books for kids who think they don’t like Sci-Fi

Summer Rachel Short Why did Summer love this book?

I loved how zany and smart this book was. It explores questions about aging and immortality in a fun, kid-friendly way.

When eleven-year-old Ellie bumps into a gawky and rather bossy boy around town, she realizes he reminds her a whole lot of someone else—her Grandpa Melvin! I appreciated how this book weaved in science and ideas about death, family, and what’s possible in such a playful way.  

By Jennifer L. Holm,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Fourteenth Goldfish as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Believe in the possible . . . with this "warm, witty, and wise" New York Times bestselling novel from three-time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer L. Holm. A perfect read about a child's relationship with her grandfather!

Galileo. Newton. Salk. Oppenheimer.
Science can change the world . . . but can it go too far?

Eleven-year-old Ellie has never liked change. She misses fifth grade. She misses her old best friend. She even misses her dearly departed goldfish. Then one day a strange boy shows up. He's bossy. He's cranky. And weirdly enough . . . he looks a lot like…


Book cover of Beast

Armand Rosamilia Author Of Keyport Cthulhu

From my list on tentacled horror.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been reading and writing horror for more than forty years and am prolific in both aspects. Show me a book with a tentacle and I’ll show you my newest purchase. 

Armand's book list on tentacled horror

Armand Rosamilia Why did Armand love this book?

Beast is an absolute classic, not only for the great story from a great author, not only because the cover is so darn good, but because… tentacles! You can’t really call yourself a reader of tentacle horror without having read this one. Stay away from the water, too.

By Peter Benchley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beast as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Makes the shark from "Jaws" look like a pet goldfish . . ." USA Weekend
Straight from the cutting edge of science and the logs of ancient mariners comes an immense horror -- a creature that rises up from the well of an ocean gone mad with an insatiable hunger and an endless lust to kill. One man leads a harrowing struggle to defeat the beast amid a threatened Bermuda paradise. His name is Whip Darling, a down-and-out sea dog who doesn't know where he'll get his next meal -- or whether it will get him first.


Book cover of Fishbowl

Ali Bryan Author Of The Crow Valley Karaoke Championships

From my list on when you've locked your keys in the car.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love big books with strong thematic cores, sprawling casts, and curious timelines (from books that take place over four seconds to several decades) that explore what it means to be human on the most primal, unfiltered, and unflinching level. These books feature characters who are trying to reconcile the expectations they had for their lives, with their complicated realties. And yet, they simmer with warmth and hope, all of them reminders that there’s nobility in the struggle, and that there’s still plenty of room for joy, even when things don’t go as planned. Especially if they don’t. Ballsy, wise, and funny, these books speak to my existential comedic heart.    

Ali's book list on when you've locked your keys in the car

Ali Bryan Why did Ali love this book?

Told from the perspective of a goldfish named Ian as he tumbles from his 27th-floor balcony perch, and observes the lives of the Seville on Roxy’s quirky, complicated, and very real residents, Fishbowl is an intricate, surprising, and impeccably woven tale about who we really are—and aren’t—behind closed doors.

A tale of life, death, and the great in-between with stunning revelation, close calls, and big truths. The perfect read if you’ve ever had to take the stairs. Masterful, fun and inventive.

By Bradley Somer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fishbowl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ian the goldfish has always longed for adventure. So when the opportunity arises, he escapes from his bowl, clears the railing of the 27th-floor balcony, and finds himself airborne. Plummeting toward the street below, he witnesses the lives of the Seville on Roxy residents. There's the handsome grad student, his girlfriend, and his mistress the construction worker who feels trapped by a secret the building's super who feels invisible and alone the pregnant woman on bed rest who craves a forbidden ice cream sandwich the shut-in for whom dirty talk and quiche are a way of life and home-schooled Herman,…


Book cover of Maude The Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton

Why am I passionate about this?

Lots of us rely occasionally on technology to help us entertain a young child, but the connection we form when looking at a book together cannot be beaten. I have found, both personally and professionally, that great books are born when a kind of magical mix-up is created in a child’s imagination between the words you read and the pictures they see. It feels so wonderful when this happens that they want to revisit the book again and again. I have written many books for young children over more than 20 years, and I am always striving to help cast that magical spell.

Fiona's book list on families and growing up–the funny bits, the comforting bits. . .and the scary bits

Fiona Munro Why did Fiona love this book?

This bold, punchy book was an absolute winner in our house. The pages are BIG, giving space for the striking illustrations, and the story is deliciously gasp-worthy!  

The large, loud Shrimpton family just loves to be noticed, apart from Maude, who feels invisible in this houseful of flamboyant extroverts. We read this book a lot and gasped a little every time. Especially when it turned out to be a very good thing for Maude that she did blend in with her surroundings!

Maude was published in 2013 when my daughter was 8. She is 18 now and still loves it! But now she notices different things – how stylish the characters are and how striking the Shrimpton’s beautiful home is. Even the wallpaper is gorgeous!

By Lauren Child, Trisha Krauss (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Maude The Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Lauren Child teams up with a debut illustrator to tell a cautionary tale about the surprising perils of craving constant attention.

Meet the Shrimpton family — so talented, so eccentric, so larger than life, you couldn’t miss them if you wanted to. Mrs. Shrimpton wears flamboyant hats, and Mr. Shrimpton’s moustache makes quite a statement. The youngsters each have a stand-out quality: beauty, dancing, singing, a sense of humor that’s a laugh a minute. Indeed, the Shrimptons live to be noticed — all that is, except Maude, who prefers to blend into the wallpaper. But when Maude receives a ferocious…


Book cover of Alex Sparrow & The Really Big Stink

Chris Callaghan Author Of The Great Chocoplot

From my list on reluctant readers to discover a love of reading.

Why am I passionate about this?

I didn’t read much when I was young. But I’ve always loved stories, and found them in TV, films, and comics. It wasn’t until I was older that I found that books can contain the most amazing adventures that connect with your imagination and makes them seem even more real than on the big screen. Discovering children’s books with my daughter, and writing my own, I wished I could have read more when I was young. I try my best to encourage young people to find the joy in reading, in the hope that they don’t miss out on all those amazing stories.

Chris' book list on reluctant readers to discover a love of reading

Chris Callaghan Why did Chris love this book?

This story made me laugh so much. It’s funny, crazy, and packed full of imagination. Jennifer Killick writes in such a friendly way that you can’t help but get drawn into the mad adventure. The main reason a young reader will engage with a story is if it’s fun and this book is non-stop fun.

Alex Sparrow is a self-styled secret agent with the ability to tell if someone is lying – in the most unusual (and smelly) way. Alex and his friend Jess must solve the most bonkers of mysteries. It’s an absolute hoot!

By Jennifer Killick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Alex Sparrow & The Really Big Stink as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Alex Sparrow is a super-agent in training. He is also a human lie-detector. Working with Jess - who can communicate with animals - they must find out why their friends, and enemies, are all changing into polite and well behaved pupils. And exactly who is behind it all. This is a humorous tale full of farts, jokes and superhero references. Oh, and a rather clever goldfish called Bob. In a world where kids' flaws and peculiarities are being erased out of existence, Alex and Jess must rely on what makes them different to save the day.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in fish, friendships, and school?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about fish, friendships, and school.

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