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- Jose Lucio, self-published author of Heave Ho!

11.15.2015

The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish

Written by Deborah Diesen

Illustrated by Dan Hanna

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

About 15 years ago I was scuba diving in Fiji. There was a huge rusting hulk of a shipwreck about 80 feet down. At the end of a pole extending above the deck was a small metal basket. Resting in that basket was a pudgy fish about the size of my fist. I swam up and looked right into his eyes and he looked right back with a deep, gloomy frown.

So writes Dan Hanna, illustrator of the Pout-Pout Fish series of books, about his inspiration for the character.

I have been asked to participate in a blog tour - as the kids say - for the latest installment, The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish. Looks like this is the sixth one, unless you count Lift the Flap Tab: Hide and Seek, Pout-Pout Fish, which would then make it the seventh, coming after the previous entry, Sweet Dreams, Pout-Pout Fish. Did you know that there are over 2.5 million Pout-Pout books in print? That's roughly the population of Houston!

In this adventure, Pout Pout fish has to buy presents for his friends for Christmas.

"I hope that Mr. Fish’s latest tale will help children to realize that presents don’t need to be expensive or complicated or splashy," writes Deborah Diesen. "Simple, heartfelt presents that connect us to one another are the best gifts of all. A drawing; a craft project; time spent together; even just a smile! These sorts of gifts are the most cherished and the most enduring. It’s a lesson we grown-ups have to re-learn periodically as well."


I love the creativity of the presents Pout-Pout fish attempts to make for his friends, lots of fun detail to go back to after the tale has been read. I think they may have some of the appeal of the I Spy series, in that kids will try and recognize what the objects were originally before Pout-Pout fish arranged them together.


And it's fun to see the underwater analogues to our land-dwellin' ways.


And it's also fun to... hey, what does that say in the corner? Mr. Limpit's glasses? Ha. We just showed that movie to my son not long ago. I wasn't sure it was even still a part of the cultural landscape. Anyways, little in-jokes like that go a long way to ingratiate a book to me.


I think it's quite possible that this book may inspire children to make their own Christmas presents, as Deborah wrote, so be forewarned if any ungainly contraptions end up in your stocking!

Come out to meet the creators of the book:

Book Tour Schedule

Author Deborah Diesen
November 14, 3pm - Square Books, Oxford, MS
November 16, 3:30pm - Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC
November 18, 4pm - Vero Beach Book Center, Vero Beach, FL
November 19, 7pm - Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, GA
November 20, 4pm - Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA
Illustrator Dan Hanna
November 15, 11am - WORD Books, Jersey City, NJ
November 16, 4pm - Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville, KY
November 17, 4:30pm - Towne Book Center & Cafe, Collegeville, PA
November 18, 4:30pm - Cover to Cover, Columbus, OH
November 19, 4:30pm - Lake Forest Books, Lake Forest, IL
November 21, 12pm - Anderson’s Book Shop, Naperville, IL
November 21, 2pm - Anderson’s Book Shop, La Grange, IL

Learn more at www.poutpoutfish.com.

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