The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish

the-not-very-merry-pout-pout-fishWritten by Deborah Diesen, Illustrated by Dan Hanna


Here is another wonderful adventure of the Pout-Pout Fish. This Christmas book has Mr. Fish out looking for the perfect gifts. He wants to get just the right thing for each of his friends, but shopping doesn’t go well. His friend suggests making gifts. He does this with the help of Miss Shimmer. I think this is a good message for kids. We don’t need a lot of stuff from stores to be the perfect presents, Handmade gifts from the heart are well loved.

This is a rhyming story, and has beautiful pictures with great details. The details will make rereading and exploring this book fun again and again. My favorite detail was “Manta Claus” riding by in his sleigh.

One part (“for a gift should be big, a gift should be bright, . . . ) is the refrain, and most repeated stanzas in the book. The child will most likely learn this part the easiest, and will say it the most frequently. It works well in the book, and is a fun poem to read, but it ends up that Mr. Fish does make gifts that were big, bright, perfect, and they bring delight. They have meaning and a bit of bling-zing, are loved and are the just-right thing. I think the overall message of the book is that we don’t need store-bought gifts that cost a lot of money, but in order to keep the rhyme and repetition I think the message may have been confused a bit. According to the ending presents ARE supposed to be big, bright, perfect and bring delight, have bling-zing and be just the right-thing. There is still a lot of pressure to get/make/create the perfect gift. I think Miss Shimmer’s message of “the best gifts of all come straight from the heart” could have been the bigger message – no matter what size, or how they are presented.

Review by Cheryl Baker, Mill Creek Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: Grades K-3

The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish
Written by Deborah Diesen, Illustrated by Dan Hanna
Farrar Straus Giroux
32 pages
Release Date: September 8, 2015

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2 thoughts on “The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish”

  1. The students at my school love the pout-pout fish book. So I know that they will love this one. I will definitely be looking for this one to add to our library.

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