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The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark

Last updated Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Author: Deborah Diesen
Illustrator: Dan Hanna
Date of Publication: 2010
ISBN: 0374307989
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2019

Synopsis: 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! Readers will swim along with Mr. Fish as he journeys deep into the ocean to new and mysterious places. They will discover, as Mr. Fish does, the power of friendship to light the way through the big-big dark.

Note to readers:
•  This book introduces similes ("As fast as a sailfish;" "strong as a shark;" "smart as a dolphin.")

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  During the picture walk, see how many different kinds of fish and sea creatures the kids can identify
•  Where do pearls come from? (They grow inside oysters and giant clams)


This is vocabulary the kids might not know. The volunteers will know it.
•  doozie - something that is extraordinary or outstanding of its kind
•  drowsy - half-asleep
•  grim - stern and having a morbid air
•  pout - to thrust out the lips (to practice with the kids) or to look and be sullen
•  poach - to trespass, especially to steal (animals)
•  despair - to lose or give up hope

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why was Ms. Clam sad?
•  What did Mr. Fish promise?
•  What is Mr. Fish afraid of?
•  What made Mr. Fish brave enough to find the pearl?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw the sea and image of the fish
•  Make a mask - Mrs. Clam (big tongue), Pout Pout fish - see Pinterest for examples
•  Check our craft ideas on Pinterest!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!