The Pout-Pout Fish
a fun, rhyming picture book about a gloomy fish who discovers that being glum isn't really his destiny. Bright
ocean colors, playful language, and engaging characters make the story
perfect for sharing at home or at school. Children of all ages
love Mr. Fish's transformation from a pout-pout fish
to a kiss-kiss fish,
and the story of The Pout-Pout Fish
is all-but-guaranteed to turn a cranky child's pout (or even a grown-up's pout!) upside down.
- If you're sharing The Pout-Pout Fish at home or at a library, bookstore, or classroom story time, here are some other titles you might want to read along with it. And I have plenty of free, downloadable activity sheets to go along with the story time.
- For classroom use, here are a few Pout-Pout curriculum ideas.
- For home or classroom use, this "cootie-catcher" is a fun, fortune-telling diversion.
- Dan Hanna, who did the terrific art for The Pout-Pout Fish, has several animated Pout-Pout films over at his web site and at You Tube. Go take a look!
If you'll be reading The Pout-Pout Fish
a school, library, or bookstore story time, you might consider
pairing the book with other picture books with similar themes.
I've started some lists, and would welcome your suggestions for
other titles to include.
For a fish or ocean theme, try one of these along with The Pout-Pout Fish
- Blue Sea by Robert Kalan, illustrated by Donald Crews
- The Busy Beach by Jane Shapiro, illustrated by Yuko Green
- Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On by Lois Ehlert
- The Fish Who Could Wish by John Bush, illustrated by Korky Paul
- Hotel Deep: Light Verse From Dark Water by Kurt Cyrus
- I'm The Biggest Thing In the Ocean by Kevin Sherry
- The Little Fish That Got Away by Bernadine Cook, illustrated by Crockett Johnson
- Not Norman by Kelly Bennett, illustrated by Noah Z. Jones
- The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
- The Sand Horse by Ann Turnbull, illustrated by Michael Foreman
- Swimmy and Fish is Fish by Leo Lionni
- A Thousand Yards of Sea: A Collection of Sea Stories and Poems, compiled by Laura Cecil and illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark
- Ugly Fish by Kara LaReau, illustrated by Scott Magoon
For a friendship theme, consider:
- Sixteen Cows by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Kurt Cyrus
- Old Henry by Joan W. Blos, illustrated by Stephen Gammell
- Nutmeg and Barley: A Budding Friendship by Janie Bynum
- Cesar Takes A Break by Susan Collins Thoms, illustrated by Roge
- Don't Need Friends by Carolyn Crimi, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
- How The Moon Regained Her Shape by Janet Ruth Heller, illustrated by Ben Hodson
For a grouchy theme, or for an exploring-emotions/feelings lesson, perhaps select from:
- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, illustrated by Ray Cruz
- The Devil and Mother Crump by Valerie Scho Carey, illustrated by Arnold Lobel
- Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard
- Mrs. Biddlebox by Linda Smith, illustrated by Marla Frazee
- The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Kathryn Brown
- Terrific by Jon Agee
- There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In A Boot by Linda Smith, illustrated by Jane Manning
For a rhyming books theme, consider:
- Fox In Socks by Dr. Seuss
- Hush Little Dragon by Boni Ashburn, illustrated by Kelly Murphy
- The Piggy In The Puddle by Charlotte Pomerantz, illustrated by James Marshall
- The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Marla Frazee
- Sheep In A Jeep by Nancy Shaw, illustrated by Margot Apple
- What Do You Do When a Monster Says Boo? by Hope Vestergaard, illustrated by Maggie Smith
If you're using The Pout-Pout Fish for a story time and would like some activity sheets to go along with it, I have several available for free download: a coloring page; a fingerplay rhyme; a word find; a word ladder; a crossword puzzle; a very hard word find; and word codes.
Each document should be a single page in length, except for the
coloring page. For the coloring page, either
print only the first page (for a single-sided coloring page)
or print the document as a doublesided sheet, to make a foldable
(a mini book). If you are
unable to open the documents, or if you need them in another format,
please contact me.
Dan Hanna, the illustrator for The Pout-Pout Fish,
has made a great foldable fortune teller (also known as a "cootie catcher") featuring Mr. Fish. I have two
version of the cootie-catcher file available for download. Which
one you use will depend on what your browser uses to open and read the
file. Start by clicking here for the smaller format version. Then, before you print it, do a page preview.
The cootie catcher should fit onto one page and be approximately
8 inches by 8 inches. If it looks about right, you're all set.
Go ahead and print. But, if the link above took you to a
cootie catcher that looked tiny (about an inch-and-a-half square), then
for a much larger version.
(Caution: This larger file is 1.62 MB, which may take 15
or more on dial-up.) If you can print the cootie-catcher on a
color printer, it will look best, but you can also print it in black
white -- it just won't be quite as colorful.
For detailed cootie-catcher folding instructions, click here.
If you'll be using The Pout-Pout Fish
in the classroom, consider these curriculum connections:
The Pout-Pout Fish
rhyming book, so students can look for rhyming words within the story,
and then think about other rhyming words for those rhymes. Or
they can look for groups of words that start with the same letter or
contain the same vowel. Students at higher grade levels can use
the story as the basis for writing exercises, such as retelling the
story in their own words, imagining the same storyline in a different
setting, or exploring what might happen after the book's end.
The characters in the story can be used for counting exercises, or as
the basis for fun addition, subtraction, or multiplication practice.
Students can count the number of pouts in the book, or graph the
number of gloomy words per page. Try leg multiplication:
If a clam has zero legs, how many legs do three clams have? If an
octopus has eight legs, how many legs do three octopi have?
Though talking sea creatures are not typically found in ocean ecosystems, the art in The Pout-Pout Fish
creates a detailed and believable ocean habitat. Students can be
assigned to study a particular lifeform (clam, jellyfish, squid,
octopus), to identify plants or water features found in the art, or to
try to classify Mr. Fish or the mysterious silver fish.
Students can create their own versions of the creatures in The Pout-Pout Fish
in two or three dimensions. At higher grade levels, students can
analyze the art in the book. What is the style of the art?
Which colors are used most frequently? How does the
illustrator convey Mr. Fish's emotions and his transformation?
The recurring refrain of The Pout-Pout Fish
lends itself to audience participation, and students can discuss and
practice ways to perform this refrain or to act out Mr. Fish's
gloominess, his "blubs," and his transformation. The other
characters -- Ms. Clam, Mr. Jelly, Mrs. Squid, Mr. Eight, and the
mysterious silver fish -- can also be brought to life, through
playacting or through music. For instance, Ms. Clam's shape might
suggest a pair of cymbals, and the silver fish's mysterious nature
might be effectively expressed with the sound of a rainstick.
Dan Hanna, the illustrator for The Pout-Pout Fish
has made a really neat origami fortune teller (commonly known as a
"cootie catcher") featuring Mr. Fish. To download it, click here
the JPEG version. (NOTE: The file is 1.62 MB, which won't bother high-speed folks but may take 15 minutes
or more on dial-up.)
If you can print it on a color printer, it will look best, but you can also print it in black and
(I state on the Kids Area of my web site and should probably repeat here: please remember that the
cootie-catcher doesn't really tell fortunes or predict the future.
It is, however, a lot of fun. Enjoy it!)
MR. FISH IN ACTION!
I can't say enough good things about Dan Hanna. Not only did he
create the wonderful art that brought Mr. Fish and his friends to life
in The Pout-Pout Fish
, he has
also created additional delightful Pout-Pout materials, including the
cootie-catcher describe above
. But that's not all!
Recently he posted to his web site some short animated Pout-Pout films
To view them, head on over to the Books
section of his bluebellylizard.com site and choose "Pout Fish Short
Movies" from the Pout list. I especially like the film "Famous
Pouts." (You can also view a non-animated historical pouts
If you You Tube, here are the You Tube links:
Another link on Dan's site will lead you to a store where you can purchase Pout-Pout merchandise
such as T-shirts, bibs, and coffeemugs.