WHO SAYS GOLDFISH DON'T READ?

Jumpstart's Read for the Record© Day 2015 is over, but does that mean we stop reading? NO WAY! Not me & NOT NORMAN!

Norman the Goldfish loves story time! And he definitely has his favorite books. How do I know? 

 Definitely  NOT  Norman!

Definitely NOT Norman!

When Norman likes a book he becomes so engrossed in the story, he shoves his stubby orange goldfish snout right up against the side of his fishbowl. Norman doesn’t budge, doesn’t even glug until the very last page—unless there’s a funny part, that is. (Norman blows bubbles during funny parts.)

But, you think he’ll stick around for a story he doesn’t like? Not Norman. If Norman doesn’t like a story, he spits sand, or goes behind his plant and hides until it’s finished.

Over the years, Norman and I have read scads of picture books. As our way of thanking  Jumpstart and everyone who Read for the Record© 10-22-2015, (and to make sure you have plenty of books to read until next year's campaign begins), we've compiled a list of Norman’s favorites. Surprise! Surprise! They all feature fish… go figure?

(BTW: Just because a book is about fish, or has the word “Goldfish” in the title, doesn’t mean it’s on the list. These are Norman Approved!)

Norman the Goldfish's List of Fish-Tastic Picture Books: 

  1. Louis the Fish by Arthur Yorinks, illus. by Richard Egielski (Like Mr. Limpet!)
  2. A Fish Out of Water by Helen Palmer, illus. by P.D. Eastman (Mrs. & Dr. Suess)
  3. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss(I Can Read It All by Myself)
  4. The Goldfish in the Chandelier by Casie Kesterson, illus. by Gary Hovland
  5. Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian, illus. by Tim Bowers
  6. The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen, illus. by  Dan Hanna  
  7. Dear Fish by Chris Gall
  8. Ugly Fish by Kara LaReau, illus. by Scott Magoon
  9. Goldfish and Chrysanthemums by Andrea Cheng, illus. by Michelle Chang
  10. Swimmy by Leo Lionni
  11. The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
  12. Hooray for Fish by Lucy Cousins
  13. Sophie’s Fish by A.E. Cannon, illus. by Lee White
  14. 10 Friendly Fish by Debbie Tarbet
  15. The Birthday Fish by Dan Yaccarino
  16. Orangey the Goldfish by Eddie Bee, Illus. by Teri Lee
  17. My Goldfish by Stephanie Barroux
  18. The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish by Neil Gaiman, illus. by Dave McKean
  19. The Unhappy Goldfish by Paul Dallimore
  20. Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet by Kelly DiPucchio, illus. by Bob Shea
  21. Nugget and Fang by Tammi Sauer, illus. by Michael Slack
  22. What About My Goldfish? by Pamela D. Greenwood, illus. by Jennifer Plecas (Early Chapter Book)
  23. Young Cam Jansen and the Goldfish Mystery by David A. Adler, illus. by Susanna Natti (Early Chapter Book)
  24. My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish by Mo O'Hara, illus. by Marek Jagucki (Series for 7-10 year olds)               
  25. The Two-Thousand-Pound Goldfish by Betsy Byars (Chapter Book)
  26. Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Fun Book by Barbara Barbieri McGrath, illus. by Rob Bolster & Frank Mazzola (Goldfish crackers, not Norman!!!)

Norman says “Goldfish keepers needs How-To-Care for Goldfish Guides.” Here are 2 we like:

 

  • Goldie’s Guide to Caring for Your Goldfish by Anita Ganeri & Rick Peterson
  • 101 Facts About Goldfish by Julia Barnes  

 

Can't stop the reading! 

Next week, after a thorough scrubbing and a few laps around the bowl, it'll be back to life as usual & back with my usual posts (which focus on whatever might be swirling around). If you'd like to stay in touch, please click on SUBSCRIBE  to receive e-mail notification when entries are posted on Kelly's Fishbowl.

WHO YA CALLING a "SCAREDY FISH"?

Yes! Norman!   Okay, if you've read the book, you know how brave Norman the Goldfish can be. Especially late at night. When it's super dark. And some strange, super creepy something is scratching at the window. But...

 SCRITCH, SCREECH! What's that noise?

SCRITCH, SCREECH! What's that noise?

Everybody's afraid of something (Okay, maybe not everybody, but almost everybody) even Norman the Goldfish.

In fact, I can think of 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 things that really really creep Norman out. (And all of them begin with the same 3-letter word that we are never, ever, even in the most extraordinary cases allowed to say--or even think--around Norman's Fishbowl.)

However, because Not Norman is Jumpstart's 2015 Read for the Record© bookand frankly, Norman's been acting like he was a little too big for his fishbowl lately, I'm going to share that list with you. But only if you register to Read for the Record© 10-22-2015 !  Promise? I'll even give you a hint.

Hint: What animal has fur and pointy ears and 4 paws and purrs? 

Norman’s Top 10 Scariest-Yuckiest-Grossest-Freakiest-Worst Things Ever List:

1.       Scariest Villian?      Catwoman

2.       Scariest Boat?     Catamaran

3.       Yuckiest Herb?      Catnip

4.       Scariest Sight in the Sky?      Catbird

5.       Scariest Plant?     Cattail

6.       Worst Thing to Find in the Mailbox?     Catalog

7.       Gunky-est Condiment?    Catsup

8.       Scariest Sound in the Whole World?   Caterwaul

9.       Freakiest Insect?   Caterpillar

10.   Scariest Fish (even scarier than sharks)?   Catfish

NOT YOUR AVERAGE GOLDFISH

Just because Norman the Goldfish swims around and around and around...inside a fishbowl all day, you might think he's empty-headed. You'd be wrong!

Norman far from your average goldfish. In addition to pina coladas and getting caught in the rain, Norman loves music. Sure Tuba music is his favorite, but he likes all different kinds of music, especially if it's fishy. In preparation for Jumpstart's Read for the Record© 10-22-2015, we've compiled his music playlist. (Norman glugged them; I wrote them down.)

Norman the Goldfish’s Music Playlist:

Norman says, There are way too many fishing songs out, far too few fish songs. These are his favorite fishy songs in order of glugs recieved:

  1. Under the Sea from The Littlest Mermaid
  2. Octupus’s Garden by The Beatles
  3. Fish Gotta Swim from Showboat, sung by Ava Gardner
  4. Somewhere Beyond the Sea, sung by Bobbie Darin
  5. Three Little Fishies by Wake-Up Group
  6. There’s A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea by Katie Cutie Kids TV
  7. Swim by Jack Mannequin 
  8. Let’s Go Swimming by The Wiggles 
  9. If I Were a Fish by Katie Cutie Kids TV
  10. Barracuda by Heart
  11. Rock Lobster by the B52s

Bonus: Punniest Fish Song of all time (How could we not include this?):

 If you aren't registered yet, whatcha waiting for? Here's the link to  Jumpstart's    Read for the Record© 10-22-2015  :   http://conta.cc/1L97qpM

If you aren't registered yet, whatcha waiting for? Here's the link to Jumpstart's Read for the Record© 10-22-2015http://conta.cc/1L97qpM

"KEEPING YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME" via Write On!

Confession time: I suffer from major book envy. Jen Kam's middle grade novel, Devin Rhodes is Dead (If it's not on your Must Read list, it should be.) is one of those that really makes me suffer with "I wish I could write like this" emerald green pangs. So when Jen invited me to guest post on "Write Now!" what I call Jen's version of the Algonquin Round Table (minus the Tinis), I was thrilled.

Rather than chatter on here, I invite you to click over to "Write On!" to find out how I keep my head in the game--and screwed on at all--in the midst of all the everything else but sitting "Butt In Chair" (As my friend The Book Doctor calls it).

As an extra incentive Jen's giving-away 3 signed copies of the special Jumpstart Read for the Record© edition of Not Norman, A Goldfish Story (Spanish or English version)--read all about it, sign-up and comment to win . . .

Write Now!

And when you're finished reading Jen's blog, check out her debut novel.  Here's the 4-1-1:

Devin Rhodes Is Dead by Jennifer Wolf Kam

Devin Rhodes.jpg

4.24 of 5 starsTold in alternating "Before" and "After" chapters, Kam's novel focuses on the events leading up to and just after Cass's best friend Devin's body is found at the bottom of a local ravine. Part realism, part ghost story, and part coming-of-age tale, this young adult novel will draw you in and keep you turning pages until the dramatic conclusion.

Confessions of a Former World Record Holder

 Home of the Oilers. the Tower still stands.

Home of the Oilers. the Tower still stands.

t was The Bicentennial Year: 1976 (and all that entails)! The Country was turning 200! Our school, Huntington Beach High School was turning 70! We were graduating! And we wanted to leave our mark on the world! What better way that to set a world recorded! Recorded for all eternity in THE Guinness Book of World Records!  

And so the launch to find a record to break began. As this was one of those last minute Brilliant Ideas, there were limitations to our record-breaking abilities. Any record we broke had to be:

  1. Easy
  2. Cheap
  3. Fast (It was the next-to-the-last, if not the last day of school)
 This is not us, but this is what we did.

This is not us, but this is what we did.

We had one thing going for us: Bodies! Our graduating class of more than 1500, was one of the largest, if not the largest, in HBHS history.

It took some doing, but someone (s), somehow came up with a record to break: Lap Sitting

Then came the question: How exactly are we supposed to achieve this Group Lap Sit?

I haven't thought about that day for well, pert near 2 score years (2 score is so much less painful than the alternatives). And if not for Jumpstart’s Read for the Record®  campaign featuring Not Norman, I probably wouldn't be confessing now. (BTW: If you haven’t signed up to read Not Norman on 10-22 please do. Everyone can. All you need to do is gather a group of folks to read to and register. Click over to www.readfortherecord.org for all the info.)

That day was hot, hot, HOT! (A rare occurrence in Huntington Beach, California, even in June). I remember me and my girlfriends—Valerie, Michelle, Theresa, Cathy, Lori, Myrna, —glossed up for the occasion (Bonnie Bell “Lip Smackers”) in hopes TV News camera really did come out for the event, and hope of hopes, snapped a photo of us!!!

In an effort to look like Farrah, I’d permed my hair. (We all wanted to look like Farrah…or Kate or Jaclyn, the other of Charlie’s Angels) Big mistake—judging from photos through the years, just the first of too many “hair disasters”—so instead looked more like Barbara.

Everyone gathered on the track to break the Lap-Sitting record.

The P.E. Coaches, whistles drawn, corralled us into one single file line winding around the track.Then came the question: How exactly are we supposed to achieve this Group Lap Sit?  (Remember this is way before the Internet; there were no How-To videos to Google)

What I recall were many hilarious starts to the Lap Sit which definitely resulted in sever leg muscle strain. In these early attempts “Starting Sitters” (I’ll call them, for lack of a better term) would hunker down then a classmate would sit on his/her lap. Another classmate would sit on that persons’ lap, and another on that persons, one-by-one-by one back up and sit.

By the time the 3rd person sat, the “Starting Sitters” legs were trembling. By the time the 4th or 5th person sat, the “Starter Sitter” would collapse and the “chair” would come tumbling down…Tumbling Tumbling

And in the midst of our “serious efforts” some boy would “just happen”  to sneak into line behind one of us so we ended up sitting—Cue the Squeal track—his lap!

Finally, someone devised a plan:  In all seriousness, we circled the track single file, spaced ourselves lap-distance apart (several test-sits were required to make sure each of us had the spacing correct, of course). Then, on the signal, with complete confidence and trust in the person behind us, we all sat down thus setting the 1976 world record for Lap Sitting!

Don't bother looking in the '76 edition. We're not in it. (I have a vague recollection that a day or so after we set the record, another group in Japan broke it. Still, for one brief shining moment, We were the champions, my friends! 

Confesstions of a World Record Holder Playlist:

Wanna keep in touch? Click on SUBSCRIBE  to receive email notification when entries are posted on Kelly's Fishbowl.

For the Record: Story Behind Guinness's Book

To paraphrase Patsy, Have I got records on my mind! How could I not? My huge worry, since Jumpstart selected NOT NORMAN as its READ FOR THE RECORD© book for 2015, is that You-We-They might not to sign up to read on Oct. 22nd?! And miss what could be—will be if you help—The World’s Largest Shared Reading Experience ever—for The Record!

What exactly is The Record???

Well, since you asked: Guinness World Records (GWR), formerly known as The Guinness Book of Records and The Guinness Book of World Records, is an annually published listing of world records of “both human achievements and the extremes of the natural world.”

 Sir Hugh Beaver, Quite the Shot!

Sir Hugh Beaver, Quite the Shot!

On the record: As it happened, Sir Hugh Beaver, Chairman of Guinness Breweries, on a shooting party in the North Slob, the morning of Nov. 10, 1951, took a shot at a golden plover, and missed—Lucky Plover, that!

An argument between the no doubt grumpy Sir Hugh and his cronies erupted over which was the fastest game bird in Europe: the golden plover or the red grouse? Later, back at Castlebridge House, while attempting to settle the argument, Sir Hugh realized it was impossible! There was no reference book to confirm what he knew to be true—that the golden plover was indeed Europe’s fastest game bird. (BTW: It is.[7][8]) Harumph!

 1st Edition, Aug. 27, 1955

1st Edition, Aug. 27, 1955

It struck Sir Hugh that there were undoubtedly “numerous other questions debated nightly in pubs throughout Ireland and abroad,” -hopefully over pints of Guinness-but no book with which to settle such arguments. As one would, Sir Hugh took the problem to work with him.

As they say, the rest is, on Aug. 27th—my mom’s birth date—60 years history! The 1st Guinness Book of Records, a 198-page edition was presented to top-selling Guinness sellers for Christmas.

It was a marketing give away – it wasn’t supposed to be a money maker.
— –Sir Hugh Beaver

Speaking of Records: The book itself holds a world record: It’s the Best-selling copyright book of all time! (Excluding non-copyright works such as the Bible and the Koran.) And, although GWR doesn’t currently hold this record, (it did until 2000), it’s one of the Most Frequently Stolen Library Books in the U.S.[3] (Can’t tell you what’s #1. The FBI compiled a list—but it’s top secret.) 

Call me obsessed, but I did a search to find out if there were any World Record Goldfish.

I found some:

But, I didn’t find any record for the Most People Reading a Goldfish Book or for the Most Widely Read Goldfish. (Norman could so set that one—He is a voracious reader!)  

Which means, on Oct. 22nd we’re going for THE TRIPLE CROWN (gold, of course)! Sign Up now to Read for the Record

 http://www.jstart.org/campaigns/read-for-the-record

For The Record Playlist:

And in case, like Norman, you aspire to greatness:  How to Set A World Record 

Wanna keep in touch? Click on SUBSCRIBE  to receive email notification when entries are posted on Kelly's Fishbowl.

The "O-Fish-Al" Story via Jumpstart

Still flip-flopping over the news that thanks to Jumpstart, on October 22, 2015, Not Norman, A Goldfish Story will star in (with your help--please--help) The World's Largest EVER Shared Reading Event: Read for the Record®, Yes, NORMAN! Of course I jumped at the chance to guest post on the Jumpstart blog.

Then I freaked: Oh my!

How many kazillion folks read the Jumpstart blog?

I mean, dang, Jumpstart is a national early education organization...

It's not that I'm not used to writing blog posts. (After 10 years of pert-darn-near regular weekly posts, I should be.) But I write those blog posts to and for YOU, my peeps, whose names and faces I picture as I'm writing. I write my posts the way,  if letters were still our sole mode of long-distance communication, I would have writen, enveloped, sealed, stamped and mailed a letter to you.  (And yes, I know some of them, last post, for example, are a lot on the wordy side...aka Windy.)

So, nervous+delighted+honored, I wrote a guest post for the Jumpstart Blog. In it, I shared the story of how I got Norman--the story idea, not the goldfish...or are they one in the same? And, well, chock it up to excitement or nervousness, but, I may have gotten a little carried away.  I included some photos and may have shared more than I should have. You decide. As Nanny always said, "Words are one thing you can't take back."

Here's the link to the July 8, 2015 Jumpstart Blog Post: NOT NORMAN: THE O-FISH-AL STORY.

Happy Reading! (And please don't stop there . . . )

Jumpstart.jpg

NORMAN AND I NEED YOUR HELP to make this year's World Read-Aloud the largest ever! (We do want to do our goldfish proud, don't we?)

Sign up to Read for the Record® on October 22, 2015 at readfortherecord.org.

Pre-order your special edition of Not Norman, register to read, and download free activity materials and resources at Jumpstart.

Honoring Lucky the Goldfish

Lucky the Goldfish is long gone. If I remember the story correctly, Lucky was a carnival goldfish my editor, Sarah, won at a fair. You know those Toss the Coin in the Fishbowl & Win games? Hence his name.

A Carnival Goldfish’s early life is not an easy one: Moving all the time; Late nights; Loud Music; Constantly dodging flying coins; grubby fingers messing in your water; fingers poking at your bowl . . .

Even those fortunate enough to be WON and taken to good homes, don’t usually live long. Mine didn’t. Lucky was truly one of the “lucky ones.” So was Sarah.

I've been thinking much about luck since I learned Jumpstart had chose my fishy little story to be their Read for the Record® 2015 book. Imagine: from all the noteworthy picture books published in the last 10 years they selected Not Norman, my goldfish story, illustrated by the funny, creative Noah Z. Jones. From conception to now, ours--Lucky's, Norman's & Mine--has been a true luck story!

  This is  not  Lucky. Nor is this Lucky's bowl! Lucky lived in a nice tank with  bubbles !

This is not Lucky. Nor is this Lucky's bowl! Lucky lived in a nice tank with bubbles!

For more than 9 years after Sarah carried her goldfish prize  home from the carnival in its plactic bag, Lucky flapped and fluttered around in his bowl, blowing bubbles, gobbling nibbles. He made sure Sarah never came home to an empty house.

And, in his quiet, fishy way, Lucky was responsible for my story, NOT NORMAN, A Goldfish Story being published.

Several years back, say 2002 or earlier, my agent heard Sarah speak at a conference. During the Q&A following Sarah’s presentation some one asked the question everyone always asks editors: Is there any story you are looking for?

Sarah burst into her Lucky the Goldfish story and shared how she would love, love, soooooo love to receive a manuscript about a goldfish. (I’ll have to ask her how many goldfish manuscripts she's received since.)

As it so happened, I had goldfish—a pond full of them—and a Goldfish picture book manuscript: Not Norman. The rest, as they say, is history.

  The  Jumpstart edition , in English & Spanish support their efforts to help children read & succeed!

The Jumpstart edition, in English & Spanish support their efforts to help children read & succeed!

People who call themselves “real pet people” i.e. dog, cat, horse, snake, bird, lizard, hamster lovers poke fun at us fishy folks. They think the only good pet is one who crawls, slithers, climbs or claws. They need the tactile connection those types of pets provide.

We fishy folks are beyond all that. We appreciate fish for what they are and do: A lot of what looks like nothing.

Fish swim around in their watery worlds, drifting, floating, bubbling,  dreaming fishing dreams while the rest of us are rushing, rushing, doing, wanting, driving and begging for more.

The only begging Lucky ever did was a meal time. And that wasn’t begging, really. That was more like a reminder: Hey! Yoo Hoo! Remember me while you’re stuffing that cracker into your gullet! How’s about tossing me a treat, too, while you’re at it?

Here’s to Lucky the Goldfish!           

Join Jumpstart's efforts to combat the word gap! Here's how: Sign up to Read for the Record® on October 22, 2015 at readfortherecord.org. Pre-order your special edition of Not Norman, register to read, and download free activity materials and resources at Jumpstart.*

And, next time you find yourself at a Carnival, try your chances at the Goldfish Game. Who knows, you might get Lucky!

Honoring Lucky Playlist:

*BTW: Noah and I do not earn royalties for this; Proceeds fund Jumpstart's efforts.

Wanna keep in touch? Click on SUBSCRIBE  to receive email notification when entries are posted on Kelly's Fishbowl.