Review of The Pout-Pout Fish, by Deborah Diesen and Dan Hanna

The Pout-Pout Fish

by Deborah Diesen
Pictures by Dan Hanna

Farrar Straus Giroux, New York, 2008. 32 pages.
Starred Review

Here’s a picture book that’s absolutely perfect for reading aloud to preschoolers, particularly ones young enough to still like kisses.

The Pout-Pout Fish has a big, clownlike frown with puckered, pouty lips. He’s also got a refrain. When the other fish and sea creatures ask him to cheer up in their own rhymed and jazzy ways, the Pout-Pout Fish replies,

“I’m a pout-pout fish
With a pout-pout face,
So I spread the dreary-wearies
All over the place.


This scenario repeats with a variety of sea creatures, when along comes a girl fish who shows him that puckered lips have a much better use than pouting! So the book finishes up with our friend singing his song in a modified version, now declaring himself a kiss-kiss fish.

I read this book at a storytime with very young preschoolers, and got them making pouty faces and singing the fish’s song along with me. We all had a delightful time.

This wonderful book is delightfully silly and naturally interactive. A fantastic Storytime stand-by.

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Source: This review is based on a library book from the Fairfax County Public Library.

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