Reviewed May 10, 2010.
Farrar Straus Giroux, New York, 2008. 32 pages.
Here's a picture book that's absolutely perfect for reading aloud to preschoolers, particularly ones young enough to still like kisses.
The Pout-Pout Fish has a big, clownlike frown with puckered, pouty lips. He's also got a refrain. When the other fish and sea creatures ask him to cheer up in their own rhymed and jazzy ways, the Pout-Pout Fish replies,
I'm a pout-pout fish
With a pout-pout face,
So I spread the dreary-wearies
All over the place.
This scenario repeats with a variety of sea creatures, when along comes a girl fish who shows him that puckered lips have a much better use than pouting! So the book finishes up with our friend singing his song in a modified version, now declaring himself a kiss-kiss fish.
I read this book at a storytime with very young preschoolers, and got them making pouty faces and singing the fish's song along with me. We all had a delightful time.
This wonderful book is delightfully silly and naturally interactive. A fantastic Storytime stand-by.