#777 – The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen & Dan Hanna


Not Very Merry Cover
The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish

Written by Deborah Diesen
Illustrations by Dan Hanna
Farrar Straus Giroux BYR    9/08/2015
32 pages     Ages 2—6

“A gift should be BIG,
And a gift should be BRIGHT,
And a gift should be PERFECT—
Guaranteed to bring delight.

“And a gift should have MEANING
Plus a bit of bling-ZING,
So I’ll shop till I drop
For each just-right thing!

“Will Mr. Fish find perfect gifts for everyone on his list? Will he finish his shopping in time? Swim along with Mr. Fish on his holiday quest. He might just discover that the best gifts of all come straight from the heart.” [inside jacket]

For whatever reason, Mr. Fish—the Pout-Pout Fish—has delayed his holiday shopping and must now hurry to get it done in time for the gift exchange. He is very specific about what he wants, how it should look, and what it should inspire. Plus, each gift should have the “wow-factor.” That is a tall order for last minute shopping. Mr. Fish goes to the first store where there are baubles galore, yet not one is the right gift for anyone on his list. He gleefully repeats his mantra while thinking of a robot for Ms. Clam. Off to the next store he swims. Mr. Fish cannot find the perfect gift. Much worse, all the stores have closed. Mr. Fish is gift-less and listless.

“Mr. Fish’s face sank
In a crestfallen frown.
‘I’ll have to miss the party.
I’ve let my friends down!’”

Mr. Fish is a bright little guy with a happy face and enlarged eyes that simply sparkle. Kids will love this fish. All of the sea creatures are cute, some with blue eyes, some with green, and all with exuberant smiles. Manta Claus and his seven seahorses flies in with a huge bag of gifts. As Manta arrives, the group is celebrating around a tree, holding hands, and possibly singing. The scene is one that many kids may be familiar with from their own family celebrations. Between each failed gift-buying scene, Mr. Fish repeats his gift mantra. This repetition will soon have kids directly involved in the story.

Pout Pout 2

The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish does have a two-fold message: gifts from the heart are the best to give, and the only gift really needed is your presence at the celebration. The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish reinforces the holidays as a time of celebration and family, rather than consumerism. Ms. Shimmer’s presence and her delivery of the two messages to Mr. Fish is gentle and serene, not heavy-handed. His mood brightens considerably as the two make the gifts.

The illustrations enhance the story, filling in the mood and the action. When Mr. Fish realizes he’ll have no gifts, he lies upside down on a rock. His dejection is looked on by a surprised little fish and a starfish—usually positioned on Fish’s head now lies on his stomach, equally upset. This spread is gorgeous and the mood is perfect. You can feel Mr. Fish’s hope for a merry holiday floating away. This spread is just one of the sixteen awesome spreads in The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish.

Pout Pout 1

Messages aside, The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish has a fun, rhyming story that flows effortlessly off one’s tongue. The musicality of Mr. Fish’s mantra will make reading the story a fun experience for parents. I would not be surprised if The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish became a holiday tradition for many families.

THE NOT VERY MERRY POUT-POUT FISH. Text copyright © 2015 by Deborah Diesen. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Dan Hanna. Reproduce by permission of the publisher, Farrar Straus Giroux BYR, New York, NY.

Purchase The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish at AmazonBook DepositoryIndieBound BooksiTunes BooksMacMillan.

Meet Deborah Diesen & Dan Hanna at one of their Book Tour Stops.
Check out the Book Tour Schedule HERE.

Learn more about The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish HERE.
Pout-Pout Fish Website:  http://www.poutpoutfish.com

Meet the author, Deborah Diesen, at her website:  http://deborahdiesen.com/
Twitter      @debbiediesen
Meet the illustrator, Dan Hanna, at his website:  http://www.bluebellylizard.com/
Find more books at the Farrar Straus Giroux BYR website: http://www.mackids.com
Twitter       @MacKidsBooks
Farrar Straus Giroux BYR is an imprint of MacMillan.

Please Tell Your Friends by Using these Social Media Tags
Hashtag: #poutpouttour
Twitter: @MacKidsBooks, @prbythebook

“There are more Pout-Pout Fish books in the sea.” [back cover]
The Pout-Pout Fish  (NY Times Best-seller; Time Magazine Top 10 Book)
The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark
The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School
Smile, Pout-Pout Fish
Sweet Dreams, Pout-Pout Fish
.          .  —plus several activity books

Deborah Diesen
Dan Hanna

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

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Full Disclosure: The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen & Dan Hanna, and received from Farrar Straus Giroux BYR (an imprint of MacMillan), is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

THE NOT VERY MERRY POUT-POUT FISH by Deborah Diesen. Illustrations © 2015 by Dan Hanna. Used by permission of Farrar Straus Giroux BYR.

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