The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark

Book Information
Rating: Outstanding
Reading/Interest Level: Preschool
Author: Deborah Diesen
Illustrator: Dan Hanna
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers
Year: 2008
ISBN: 9780374301897
Pages: 34

Ms. Clam yawns and a current knocks her pearl away, so Mr. Fish promises to help her find it. He looks but can't find it so he has to swim down where there's less light. Mr. Fish wants to keep his promise to his friend, but he's scared of the dark! He swims down and down some more until he's in a deep, dark trench. He almost heads back before he finds the pearl because he is scared, but then his friend Miss Shimmer swims with him and he feels braver since he's not alone. They find the pearl and return it to Ms. Clam together.

The themes of this book are about keeping promises and facing our fears together. Mr. Fish keeps going deeper into the dark ocean to keep his promise to Ms. Clam. He reassures himself that he can do it despite his fears by listing his strengths. This can be a poignant lesson for children as they can follow his example and do the same when facing their fears. The short rhyming passages are fun to read and keep the story moving. The illustrations are very colorful and expressive.