Spend the Holidays with Pout-Pout Fish

November 14, 2015 at 1:00 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

613r-T9OAbL._SY494_BO1,204,203,200_Title: The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish

Author: Deborah Diesen

Illustrator: Dan Hanna

Kiddo and I fell in love with The Pout-Pout Fish about three years ago when we discovered The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark.  We had a slight aversion to the possibility of “baby talk” in the writing, but were won over by the fun poetry and the fabulous underwater illustrations. (Read my original post here.)

In addition to our joint love of underwater children’s stories, Kiddo has taken on a serious love for Christmas that can be countered only by my mother’s.  These two, I’m not kidding, have enough Christmas spirit for the entire nation. All of America could abandon the idea of Christmas altogether and my kid and her grandmother would still have us all covered. (I’m a little more ba hum bug, but you know – yin and yang and all that.)

So you can imagine our excitement when the publisher sent us a copy of The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish.

“The Pout-Put Fish is like SANTA!” the kiddo exclaimed, seeing his very merry Santa hat atop his very un-merry face.  We’re not Santa promoters in our house – in the modern day sense that has become tradition, but rather in the currently untraditional traditional sense where we talk about the history of the original Santa stories and how the legend of a good man became a magical myth.  Yet, with all our reading and exploration of wonderful tales and things that promote vivid imaginations, we’ve fallen in love with stories like the Rise of the Guardians by William Joyce and so on…

Come the holidays, we have another household tradition.  We like the concept of four gifts (or gift categories that promote specific, well-thought out gifts in moderation): What You’ll Wear, What You’ll Read, What You Want, and What You Need.  So as a parent of such a household, I especially love the line, “And his gifts had meaning/ Plus a bit of bling-zing/ And his each and every friend loved/ Their just-right thing.” No meaningless haphazard gift giving for the Pout-Pout Fish! (Thank you, for that, Deborah Diesen, it truly does mean so much to us.)

“Can we read it again tomorrow?” Kiddo asked when we were through.

“Of course.”

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Weekly Low Down on Kids Books – or, my obsession with water work

September 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Title: The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark

Author: Deborah Diesen

Illustrator: Dan Hanna

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux

Although I hate the title, because I have a severe adversion to anything that even remotely sounds like it *may* be baby talk, I love this book.  I picked it up at the library today, despite the title, because I have a soft spot for underwater children’s illustrations.  Anything dealing with the ocean in the world of kid lit is right up my alley for whatever reason – it moves me.  Just like I loved Memoirs of a Goldfish, the illustrations for Rainbow Fish, and Eric Carle’s odd Mister Seahorse story.  It is probably the same reason I took kiddo to the Dallas World Acquarium long before we ever went to the Houston Zoo, where we live.  (If you have not yet visited the Dallas World Aquarium, please click that link and watch the home page video, you wont regret ‘wasting’ the time.) And its why I loved that she loved the beach.

My impulse for underwater things goes beyond kid book impulses every now and again.  My guest bathroom is beach themed, a common choice, I believe, but part of my decor involves pictures from my honey moon and, yes, more books.  The first that comes to mind is: Poseidon’s Steed.  I haven’t read it yet, but I plan to.  Maybe someone out there would like to read it with me sometime?  On top of my beachy bathroom, I find myself being drawn to genres I would never in my life enjoy otherwise, like Kendall Grey’s Just Breathe series.  All profits from her urban fantasies go to whale education organizations.  Read an interview I did with Ms. Grey as well as my review of her book here.

Impulses aside, once I read The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark to kiddo today, I was rather pleased.  Kiddo was riveted, curled up in my arms, pointing out the fish on the page and colors she recognized, while soothed by the rhythm of the poem.  She was in no rush for the story to be over and thoroughly enjoyed each and every page.  If you have a toddler, you know how daunting it can be to find a book that your child doesn’t turn the pages ahead of the story for you, impatient for you to finish reading.  The Pout-Pout Fish isn’t one to be rushed, and it was quite lovely.

P.S. This is a good title for dealing with older children who are scared of the dark.

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