By Alan Durant

A moving and original story of family, friendship – and fish.

“What’s it like, Dad – being a fish?” Grief takes many forms, and manifests itself in strange ways. Sometimes very strange indeed. When, on an ordinary morning, Dak's father suddenly dies of a heart attack, Dak's mother falls apart. Desperate to escape the atmosphere at home, Dak finds himself going to his dad's favourite place – the local aquarium. And there, to his amazement, is Dad, who it seems is alive and well as a clownfish! With his mum so ill, Dak decides that, for now, this will have to be his secret, and his alone. But he visits the clownfish tank as often as he can, which is how he comes to meet Violet, the owner's niece. She's offhand and unfriendly – yet when the aquarium is threatened with closure, Dak and Violet need to work together to save it. For Dak, the stakes couldn't be higher: if the aquarium shuts down, what will happen to Dad? Gently funny, moving and undoubtedly strange, this is a haunting story of life after loss from an award-winning author.

Categories: Fiction

For readers aged: 10+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781406374629
  • Published: 01 Nov 2018
  • Price: £6.99
  • Size: 198 x 129 mm
  • Pages: 224

More to explore...

  • Clownfish
  • Dear-Mermaid
  • Dear-Tooth-Fairy
  • Dear-Father-Christmas

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Customer reviews


'“This is a really poignant story cleverly told with humour taking the sting out of the sadness and with an upbeat ending that still had me reaching for a tissue.”' Primary Times

'“[…] it is a sign of Durant’s supreme confidence as a storyteller that he can make the saddest stories the vehicles for his wildest ideas.”' The Daily Telegraph

'“Clownfish is an autumnal gem.”' The Telegraph

'“The story rings with humour and longing without ever being maudlin or depressing; it does not dwell on the pain, but shows how to cope with loss. And it demonstrates clearly that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Gentle, funny, genuine and warm, this is a hopeful, memorable book.”' Fallen Star Stories

'“Overall this is a sweet, sometimes funny but mainly heartwarming story that is absolutely worth a read.”' The Glasgow Herald

'“Celebrated as Alan Durant's 100th book, this quirky and engaging tale is well worth the read.”' The School Librarian

'Filled with warmth and humour, this short novel would suit children aged nine and over.' The Guardian, ‘Picture Books on Prescription’

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