Weekly Low Down on Kids Books – or, my obsession with water work

September 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Title: The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark

Author: Deborah Diesen

Illustrator: Dan Hanna

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux

Although I hate the title, because I have a severe adversion to anything that even remotely sounds like it *may* be baby talk, I love this book.  I picked it up at the library today, despite the title, because I have a soft spot for underwater children’s illustrations.  Anything dealing with the ocean in the world of kid lit is right up my alley for whatever reason – it moves me.  Just like I loved Memoirs of a Goldfish, the illustrations for Rainbow Fish, and Eric Carle’s odd Mister Seahorse story.  It is probably the same reason I took kiddo to the Dallas World Acquarium long before we ever went to the Houston Zoo, where we live.  (If you have not yet visited the Dallas World Aquarium, please click that link and watch the home page video, you wont regret ‘wasting’ the time.) And its why I loved that she loved the beach.

My impulse for underwater things goes beyond kid book impulses every now and again.  My guest bathroom is beach themed, a common choice, I believe, but part of my decor involves pictures from my honey moon and, yes, more books.  The first that comes to mind is: Poseidon’s Steed.  I haven’t read it yet, but I plan to.  Maybe someone out there would like to read it with me sometime?  On top of my beachy bathroom, I find myself being drawn to genres I would never in my life enjoy otherwise, like Kendall Grey’s Just Breathe series.  All profits from her urban fantasies go to whale education organizations.  Read an interview I did with Ms. Grey as well as my review of her book here.

Impulses aside, once I read The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark to kiddo today, I was rather pleased.  Kiddo was riveted, curled up in my arms, pointing out the fish on the page and colors she recognized, while soothed by the rhythm of the poem.  She was in no rush for the story to be over and thoroughly enjoyed each and every page.  If you have a toddler, you know how daunting it can be to find a book that your child doesn’t turn the pages ahead of the story for you, impatient for you to finish reading.  The Pout-Pout Fish isn’t one to be rushed, and it was quite lovely.

P.S. This is a good title for dealing with older children who are scared of the dark.


  1. Debbie Diesen said,

    Thank you for your kind words about The Pout-Pout Fish In The Big-Big Dark!

    Best Fishes,
    Debbie Diesen (author of The Pout-Pout Fish)

  2. Spend the Holidays with Pout-Pout Fish | Anakalian Whims said,

    […] Kiddo and I fell in love with The Pout-Pout Fish about three years ago when we discovered The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark.  We had a slight aversion to the possibility of “baby talk” in the writing, but were won over by the fun poetry and the fabulous underwater illustrations. (Read my original post here.) […]

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