cover image Goldfish on Vacation

Goldfish on Vacation

Sally Lloyd-Jones, illus. by Leo Espinosa. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-385-38611-1

Lloyd-Jones (His Royal Highness, King Baby) takes inspiration from the charming true story of a New York City fountain that became a summer “retreat” for goldfish for more than a decade. After three children find a sign on a derelict fountain—“Coming in Two Weeks! Calling All Goldfish Looking for a Summer Home”—they run home to share the news with their grandfather and three fish. When the day finally arrives, the once-forlorn fountain has been transformed into a locus for neighborhood children who while away the summer playing and listening to Grandpa’s yarns of times past. Anxious readers may wonder how the kids will reclaim their own fish, and at summer’s end the children remark how different their pets look. “Of course!” says Grandpa. “That’s what a vacation will do for you!” Nostalgia infuses Lloyd-Jones’s tale of childhood summer innocence and Espinosa’s retro digital illustrations. His New York City, with its diverse community of residents set against a graphic cityscape, recalls the work of M. Sasek. A closing note details the fountain’s real-life history. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. (Apr.)