Deborah Diesen
Children's Author

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The Pout-Pout Fish (cover image)

The Pout-Pout Fish is a rhyming children's picture book published by Farrar Straus Giroux.  The text of the story is by yours truly, and the wonderful art is by Dan Hanna.

The Pout-Pout Fish tells the tale of Mr. Fish, who spends his days with his fish-face stuck in a permanent pout.  Though his pals try to cheer him up, they have little success.  But as the story swims along, an unexpected friend arrives on the scene and helps Mr. Fish to discover that glum isn't really his destiny.

The Pout-Pout Fish spent two weeks on The New York Times Book Review picture book best sellers list and was named one of the 2008 Top Ten Children's Books by Time magazine.


It was also chosen to be the 2009 Michigan Reads selection.  In addition, it was the 2008 Southern California Independent Booksellers Association (SCIBA) Picture Book Award Winner, it was a 2009 Indies Choice Best New Picture Book Honor Book, and it was selected as the 2010 Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award winner. The Pout-Pout Fish was also included in the 2009 Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year list.

For more Pout-Pout info, including story time materials, curriculum suggestions, a cootie-catcher, and You Tube links, click here.

The Barefooted, Bad-Tempered Baby Brigade (cover image)


The Barefooted, Bad-Tempered Baby Brigade, illustrated by Tracy Dockray, is a funny, rhyming picture book.  It features fed-up babies who band together to protest baths, bibs, belly kisses and more.

The book is a wonderful baby shower or new baby gift.  The story is fun and silly, but it has a sweet, sentimental ending, with a reminder that babies don’t stay babies for long.

It’s also great fun for story times. When I read it to groups, I bring along a “protest sign” that says “We Won’t,” and I have the kids join in with me on the recurring “We Won’t”s.

Booklist says it's "a great early read-aloud, with a thumping, rhythmic text that kids will want to hear many times over."

Publishers Weekly says, "Diesen gets the we're-not-gonna-take-it tone exactly right."

And School Library Journal declares the book "great fun"!

The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark



The Pout-Pout Fish In The Big-Big Dark is a follow-up to the popular The Pout-Pout Fish.  Illustrated by Dan Hanna and published by Farrar Straus Giroux, this new tale follows Mr. Fish’s adventure into the deepest part of the ocean.


Mr. Fish wants to help his friend Ms. Clam when she loses her pearl, but though he’s fast as a sailfish, as smart as dolphin, and as strong as a shark, Mr. Fish has a secret: he’s scared of the dark!

"The playful, rhyming verse is well matched with Hanna’s funny cartoon illustrations," says School Library Journal.


And Kirkus Reviews calls it, “an entertaining read-aloud and a nice lighthearted vehicle for dealing with fear.”