Monday, February 2, 2015

The Pout-Pout Fish

This book grabbed our attention at the library because some of us are a little grumpy
in the morning. (It may or may not be me.) Therefore, anything portraying that
crankiness in a different light is something we gravitate towards!

Plot Summary
Pout-Pout Fish is always frowning as he swims around the ocean. He frowns when he encounters his fellow ocean-dwellers, who all try to cheer him up to no avail. Will Pout-Pout Fish ever learn to smile?

Critical Analysis
This book is a great read-aloud choice! Kids will love the refrain “I’m a pout-pout fish / With a pout-pout face, / So I spread the dreary-wearies / All over the place.” This creates a call and response for storytime, with “Blub, Bluuub, Bluuuuuuub” following right behind the catchy verse. My seven-month-old even learned the rhythm of the words and would lean back to watch me blue along with Pout-Pout Fish!
     The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous; the jellyfish page took my breath away! The images are bright and vividly colored, sure to draw in young readers. One ocean friend is introduced per page spread, but there’s an added game of looking for and identifying all of the other critters that inhabit the pages.

Personal Response
This book is already a favorite at our house! My fiancĂ© read it for the first time to his five-year-old son and our seven-month-old son, and both boys loved it. The five-year-old loved the rhyming stanzas (as did I!) and the seven-month-old loved the pictures. His room is decorated in an ocean theme, so I like to think he felt right at home underwater with Pout-Pout Fish and friends! When I re-read it to the baby, as I mentioned above, he learned to recognize certain sections of the text and look at me as I read them. He loved grabbing at the fish in the pictures as well. He smiles any time he sees Pout-Pout Fish now, so we’re eager to add these books to our library… and we’ve caught (pun intended!) word that there is a plush Pout-Pout Fish out there too…

Reviews & Awards
Pout-Pout Fish is a New York Times Bestseller and the 2009 Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year. Times Record News says "Diesen's clever rhymes are playful and fun and are sure to keep children's imaginations swimming from page to page.”

Connections & Activities
There is a whole series of Pout-Pout Fish books - with more still coming out! This first one is so enjoyable, I know we’re going to read and love them all.

Read it for yourself!
Diesen, Deborah. 2008. The Pout-Pout Fish. Ill. by Dan Hanna. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 9780374360962

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