Clownfish bookcover


Alan Durant

“A gem.” – Telegraph

“Filled with warmth and humour, this short novel would suit children aged nine and over.” – Guardian

“Sweet, funny and heartwarming … absolutely worth a read.” – Glasgow Herald

Clownfish is a moving and stunningly original story of friendship and life after loss, from the award-winning author Alan Durant. Dak’s dad has been dead for seven days when suddenly he reappears. He’s the same in almost every way, with one startling exception: Dad has turned into a clownfish, and now lives in a tank at their local aquarium.

Dak is delighted by the news – he has Dad back, even if he isn’t quite as he was before. Deciding to keep Dad’s transformation a secret, Dak visits him at the aquarium as often as he can, and ends up spending so much time there that they offer him a job. This is how he comes to meet Violet, the owner’s prickly but kindhearted niece; when the aquarium is threatened with closure, the pair must work together to save it.

For Dak, the stakes couldn’t be higher … after all, if the aquarium shuts down, what will happen to the fish? In parts wry, moving and undoubtedly strange, this beautifully crafted story will stay with you long after the final page.

As featured in the Reading Well Books on Prescription programme, supported by professional health bodies including NHS England and the Royal College of GPs.

Latest reviews

So moving it had me in tears at the end! A lovely heartwarming story that covers loss beautifully!

I think this book was very interesting and i cried at the sad parts! It is a wonderful read and i love it!

it was ok

I am so suprised that someone would make a book about a clownfish!It was so sad when Dak's father(a clownfish)died.

Not too sure about this book.

I like that he tries to think positive when he's actually really sad.

I enjoyed this book because it had happy bits and sad bits in it but it had one swear word.

A great book if u like animals, especially fish.

I wrote the review on my book

I liked this book, but it gets boring sometimes when Dak spends time with Mum. I am also confused about what happens at the end where Mum hugs Dak and tells him that "he's gone". I don't know how she found out about it all. I hope the author writes a sequel in which Dak finds out about how Mum knew. My favourite character was the clownfish, because, as Dak said, it is a fascinating type of fish. I wasn't sure about the clownfish being his dad, though, because it sounds too weird, like Violet was trying to say. I like the parts when Violet says something seriously but it might sound funny to the audience, like when Stephan is telling her and Dak fish quotes and she makes up one of her own. She says, "Here's one, fish are best in batter with chips. That's a quote from Violet McGee", which was a bit funny. Then at the end of the chapter she says "I prefer mine. At least it makes sense." (She is talking about her quote there, by the way.) Another bit I found funny was when Dak was telling Violet the poem his dad loves, which was this. I must go down to the sea shore, To the lonely sea and sky, And all I ask for is a tall ship, And a star to steer her by. And apparently Violet knows the poem but another version which her dad made up. This is it. I must go down to the sea shore, To the lonely sea and sky, And all I ask for is a bag of chips, And a steak and kidney pie. I like this book, but there could still be many, many improvements. And although I like it, I would not recommend it to anyone I know.

This book was quite difficult to read with small writing. I like some of it but there was some I didn't understand. I will try and read it again one day!

Fun book

This book was really good but sad at the end

It was an emotional and fun book, would recommend to everybody, a family story.

I really liked the fish

I really liked this. It would be great to share with a KS2 pupil who had lost a parent: it deals with a very tricky subject in a sensitive and beautiful way.

i liked this book a lot. Its about a boy who thinks his dad died but actually he had turned into a fish.

fantastic book!!!

Great book and good characters!

This book was ok

The Reading Agency

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