"Reading aloud with children is known to be the most important activity for building the knowledge and skills they will eventually require for learning to read."
~Marilyn Jager Adams
Author: Deborah Dieson
Illustrator: Dan Hanna
Book + CD available: narrated by Alexander Gould - voice of Nemo, in "Finding Nemo" and Bambi in " Bambi 11".
This book is just plain special. I bumped into it quite by accident and wondered why I had never seen it before now. It is one of those books that gets into your heart and makes you - SMILE!
The rhymes and illustrations just enrich each other. The pout-pout fish looks gloomy and glum and drags his little body around like he is thoroughly depressed all the time because that is just the way he is, or so he thinks. His sad, melancholy eyes, and downturned mouth seem like a permanent fixture and his friends try to lift his spirits and encourage him to cheer up. His response is that all is hopeless, he is doomed for a life of despair and sadness. The repetitive refrain, "I'm a pout-pout fish, with a pout-pout face, I spread the dreary-wearies all over the place, glub, glub, glub." will have your child chanting along with him, mirroring his forlorn expression. Then one day a true miracle happens and his life is changed forever. He realizes that being a pout-pout fish is not his destiny after all and his life takes a dramatic shift, freeing him to be the fish he always dreamt of being.
This book is sing-songy and an excellent read aloud. It includes great vocabulary words, fun with rhyme and a chance to teach your child about different moods. The cartoonish illustrations are the best. They add so much to the storyline and paint a fabulous portrait of the underwater world where pout-pout resides.
Side note: You can catch this book on YouTube put to music. Just type in: The Pout Pout Fish, Gordon True is the mastermind and songwriter who will entertain you and have you singing along. I loved it.
About the author:
I grew up in
I had wonderful English teachers throughout my primary education, including an entertaining writing teacher whose voice I still hear in my head when I employ colons, semi-colons, and other punctuation challenges. I wrote creatively throughout those years, and well into college.
During college, writing began to take a backseat as I explored a number of potential career paths and interests. I took courses in telecommunications, psychology, political science, acting, philosophy, anthropology, and more, but I never found a field of study that fit quite right. After I graduated, with a multidisciplinary social science degree, I worked for many years at an independent bookstore. I loved being in the constant presence of books as well as in the company of wonderful co-workers. During that time, I took a few classes in accounting, with the thought that I might some day work for the GAO, ferreting out government waste and corruption; but though my accounting coursework introduced me to the fascinating world of numbers, the accountant career possibility didn’t fit quite right either. Finally, I decided on librarianship, and I returned to school to earn my MILS. After graduation, I began work as a librarian.
My husband and I started a family, and our children were enthusiastic about books from a very early age. I found myself immersed in children’s literature on a day-to-day basis, and the experience reawakened my interest in writing. I began to write stories for my boys and discovered I enjoyed it more than I had any other genre of writing. I joined SCBWI and then became a member of an extraordinary critique group, through which I’ve learned immeasurably about the craft of writing. Writing in rhyme is especially appealing to me, as it combines my love of words with my more analytical love of form and rhythm.
My current day-job is as the financial manager of a small nonprofit organization, and I enjoy the work tremendously. But my true joy comes from writing for children. Writing for children has allowed me to combine all the various paths I’ve traveled and explored into one pursuit that -- at last -- fits just right.
Book Review Rating: 9 (Close to perfection)
Read on and read always!