The Pout-Pout Fish, by Deborah Diesen & Dan Hanna

Deep in the water
Where the fish hang out
Lives a glum gloomy swimmer
With an ever-present pout.

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

Blub Bluuub Bluuuuuuub

Poor old Mr Fish! Destined to be gloomy and glum and to spread the gloom to everyone he sees. Casual comments, jovial suggestions, grumpy commands to cheer up all meet with the same response from Mr Fish. That he is a pout-pout fish and he has no choice but to look grim. He must be, there is no one around him who looks or acts like him. But then along comes a newcomer. The story is told in rhyme, with repetition which will encourage young ‘readers’ to join in. Illustrations are cartoony and colourful with some pages divided to provide extra frames. This sea is very full with some recognisable and less familiar sea-dwellers.

The Pout-pout Fish is a simple story about destiny and when it just isn’t. Mr Fish has accepted that he is the way he is and that he has no choice to be different. Despite his gloominess, he seems to have many friends, even if those friends are imploring him to change. Then a chance encounter makes him see himself in very different way. He is still who he is, but he’s much easier to have around. There are many little sea creatures to find in each image, and unusual plants too. Children will enjoy finding the same creatures on each page, and looking at what’s different. Recommended for 4-6 year olds.

The Pout-pout Fish

The Pout-pout Fish, Deborah Diesen & Dan Hanna
Scholastic Australia 2011
ISBN: 9781742830063

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

This book is available from good bookstores or online from Fishpond.