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The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School (The Pout-Pout Fish)

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  389 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
Turn little pouts into big smiles!

Mr. Fish is nervously awaiting his first day of school,and hefrets about not knowing how to write his name, how to draw shapes,and how todo math—until he’s reassured that school is the perfect place to learn how to master all of these new skills, in this new Pout-Pout Fish book from Deborah Diesen and Dan Hanna.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 24th 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published May 1st 2014)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 627)
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Alexandra Seals
Jun 06, 2016 Alexandra Seals rated it really liked it
Have you read any books about Pout-Pout Fish before? If so, tell me some things you already know about Pout-Pout Fish. If this is your first time reading a Pout-Pout Fish book, we can use his name to learn a little bit about him. Pout means to push your lips out, like Pout-Pout Fish is doing on the cover. Let’s all give it a try! Why might you pout like Pout-Pout Fish? How do you think he feels about going to school? We’re going to read to find out why Pout-Pout Fish is worried about going to sc ...more
Ideal for easing youngsters' anxieties about the first day of school or facing anything new, this picture book recounts Mr. Fish's early school experiences. As he tries to find his classroom, he enters rooms where the students are working on tasks too hard for a brand new student, and he starts feeling hopeless. When he stumbles into his teacher, she reassures him and builds up the self-esteem of all her students. I like the positive affirmations that counteract all the negative tapes Mr. Fish w ...more
Nov 10, 2015 Robin rated it liked it
The most pun-filled picture book I've read in a while. A delightful story to help kids feel more comfortable at school.
Jun 10, 2016 Jackie rated it really liked it
[Show title page] What do you see in this picture? [children respond] Yes we see a large fish that has a backpack on, so we can assume that he is off to school. How do you think this little fish is feeling? How can you tell? [children respond] Let's look at a few of the pages in this book to see if we can tell why he might be feeling this way. [Get student's guesses] How do you think the fish is feeling at the beginning of the story versus the end of the story? What do you think happened?

- Draw
Apr 01, 2016 Aylea rated it really liked it
This review orignially published by The Children's Book and Media Review

Mr. Fish feels out of place on his first day of school. All the other fish know where to go to find their lockers and classes, and everyone else seems better than he is at doing things. He starts counting his troubles, and as things seem to get harder for him, he keeps repeating his troubles to himself. He decides to quit, but his teacher, Miss Hewitt, comes to tell him that she will teach him everything he needs to know and
Mar 29, 2016 Lauren rated it it was amazing
The Pout-Pout Fish goes to school is about a little guppy that is started kindergarten for the first time. He goes to his first writing class and it seems like everyone in that class understand how to write except for him. He decides to leave the class and go to a drawing class where everyone seems to know how to draw except for him. He is frustrated that he doesn't know how and decides to go to a math class where everyone seems to understand long division, but again he does not know how to do l ...more
Lizz Uhl
Mr Fish is a small fish who is headed to school. Kissing his parents goodbye he swims off to class. In school he feels lost and alone. Everyone else knew where to go and understood the lessons. Mr Fish tried to do writing, math, and shapes but he just couldn't do it. He had four troubles in his head. Trouble one is he is not smart, trouble two is he will never get it, trouble three is he doesn't belong, and so four he thinks he should just forget it. With not being able to write his letters, dra ...more
Michelle McBeth
May 09, 2015 Michelle McBeth rated it really liked it
A long time ago when Mr. Fish was a little fish, he started school for the first time. But he didn't know where to go or what to do. He entered the first room he came across, but they were writing and he didn't know how to write. So he left and went to another classroom where they were doing shapes. He didn't know how to do shapes either. After a few attempts, he decided to leave, feeling that he wasn't smart enough for school. But just as he was leaving, the kindergarten teacher came and brough ...more
Madelyn Adams
Personal Reaction:
I thought this was a cute book, but it wasn’t the best I have ever read. I think it has some wonderful qualities, however the plot is very simple. The illustrations of the book are amusing and give the reader a better understand of Pout-Pout Fish’s frustration with school. I think the colors of the illustrations are bright and attractive particularly for younger students.

This book would be perfect to use for Kindergarten, especially on the first or second week of school
Sep 04, 2014 Joannah rated it it was amazing
The Pout Pout fish is back, and it’s his first day of school. At first he’s excited, but when he gets there it seems everyone around him knows exactly what to do and where to go, and Mr. Fish feels lost and left behind. He visits a classroom where everyone is writing, but he can’t even write his name. In an art classroom, everyone is drawing shapes but he can’t do it. After he visits a classroom where everyone is doing long division, Mr. Fish decides “forget it!” and makes his way to the exit. “ ...more
Kenzie Wright
Jan 20, 2016 Kenzie Wright rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wright
Diesen, D. (2014). The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School: a Pout-Pout Fish Adventure. New York, NY: Farrar Straus Girous.

Review 1
Henkin, A. E. (2014, May 26). [Review of book The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School, by D. Diesen]. Publishers Weekly. 261(21). Retrieved from NoveList Plus database.

Henkin states that The Pout Pout Fish Goes to School is appropriate for ages 2-5. This repeating, rhymed verse tells a story for Mr.Fish’s first day of school. Mr. Fish feels very discouraged because he doesn’t th
Simina Albaiu
Sep 30, 2015 Simina Albaiu rated it really liked it
This was such a sweet book for children who are just going to kindergarten, or even preschool, to experience. Pout-Pout Fish is so scared for his first day of school that instead of finding his new classroom he peeks into several different classrooms where other kids are mastering skills that he has never heard of. This has him feeling so defeated and he goes from room to room giving up and giving up until, finally, he meets his new teacher who tells him that it's okay not to know things that yo ...more
Rachel Boatright
Nov 27, 2015 Rachel Boatright rated it liked it
Shelves: tch-lrn-307, math, animals
The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School is about Mr. Fish heading to school. Mr. Fish went to many, many classes. In these classes he finds that he can’t keep up with his other classmates or be able to do any of the work that the teachers were having the students do. Mr. Fish was lost as he kept going from classroom to classroom to find his place. Finally, Mr. Fish finds that he does not belong and is on his way headed out the exit door. Just before he leaves Miss Hewitt calls him back to his class wh ...more
Mikayla Baker
Jan 28, 2016 Mikayla Baker rated it it was amazing
Mr. Fish goes off to school for the first time. He was not sure where to go. He began in a classroom where they were writing. He was having trouble and decided to give up and leave. Then he went into a classroom for drawing. The same thing happened in this classroom. Next, he went into a math classroom and had the same problem. He finally said "FORGET IT" and left. On his way out a teacher stopped him and said, "I am your teacher." So he followed her back to a classroom that was just right for h ...more
Oct 25, 2015 Mackenzie rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
The first day of school for anyone is scary and it is no different for Mr. Fish. He seems to be lost and can’t find his classroom. He goes classroom to classroom and this makes him a very sad. He is about to give up on himself till his teacher, Mrs. Hewitt, comes to the rescue. She turns his frown upside down. She makes him feel special and part of the class. Mrs. Hewitt gives all her students a sense of belonging and confidence to do whatever they want.

Mrs. Hewitt tells her stud
Caitlin Harris
Feb 02, 2016 Caitlin Harris rated it it was amazing
I really loved The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School. It tells the story of a fish going to school and feeling like he can't do it and he doesn't fit in until a teacher comes to help him find his way. This book was incredibly cute. I loved the rhyming and the repetition. The illustrations were very cute as well. I would definitely want this book in my classroom. It would be so great to read to a child who feels like they aren't smart or aren't getting things as fast as the other students. The story ...more
Summary: Pout Pout Fish Goes to School and has a rough start. He tries to join groups of other fish who are drawing shapes, doing long-division and writing. Poor Pout Pout Fish gets discouraged. He decides to leave school. He is stopped by Miss Hewitt who shows him the classroom for Brand-new Fish. He learns a new mantra, "Fact one: you are smart. Fact two: You can get it. Fact three: You belong. So four: Don't forget it."
Publication: 2014
Library Use: Nice book for the beginning of the year for
The Bumble Girl {Margie}
Jun 23, 2014 The Bumble Girl {Margie} rated it really liked it
Pout-Pout Fish does it again, and now he's going to school!
A funny little rhyming game that Mr. Fish plays with himself that encourages your child to discuss why they are hesitant about starting school.

Mr. Fish is scared and worried he is not ready for school. He does not know where to go and finds himself in different classrooms trying different things, like writing and math, that he does not know how to do. This overwhelms him and he gets upset because he does not know how to do these things
Sharon Lawler
Jun 21, 2014 Sharon Lawler rated it liked it
Illustrations are adorable, and accommodate the text text perfectly for the preschooler. However, I feel the three repetitions of the four Troubles (I'm not smart; I'll never get it; I don't belong; I should forget it), would have more influence with the impressionable audience than the one time that the four positive Facts (We are smart; We can get it; We belong; We won't forget it), are stated. However, with guided discussion, it could be successful, but I only recommend chanting the Facts, an ...more
Apr 09, 2014 Celeste_pewter rated it it was amazing
Two-second recap The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School is a smart, funny rhyming book about overcoming the challenges of trying out new things and new environments for the very first time!


Full review

I love picture books for the simple but beautiful lessons that they share with readers, both young and old. This is why, it's hardly surprising that I was absolutely charmed by The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School, a lovely new addition to Deborah Diesen's Pout-Pout Fish series.

When Mr. Fish goes to
Jul 17, 2014 Diane rated it really liked it
"Fact one: we are smart! Fact Two: We can get it! Fact three: We belong! And Four: We won't forget it!"

Mr. Fish goes to school for the first time, but is frustrated by what he doesn't already know. It seems the other students know more than him. "I'm not smart, I'll never get it. I don't belong so forget it!" He is ready to leave when his new teacher finds him and brings him to the right classroom.

A little contrived, but a good message for little ones to hear.
My first Pout-Pout fish book. I think it might have helped if I'd read others. But this was OK. A little didactic in helping to teach kids about not needing to know everything right away. That you will learn as it comes and you take time to learn new things. And to not think your dumb. And to not give up. This would be really good for kids just starting school (kindergarten, especially). But any younger kids who might be struggling, it would be good there as well.
Faith Tydings
Jan 11, 2016 Faith Tydings rated it really liked it
"Trouble one: I'm not smart!
Trouble two: I'll never get it!
Trouble three: I don't belong!
So four...forget it"

Poor little pout-pout fish. He's reminisced back to his first day of school and he doesn't feel like he belongs. He can't do anything and he's just not getting it. Then, with the help of his teacher, he learns that he does belong and he can do it. Love the lesson that can be taken from this simple book.

"Fact one: you are smart.
Fact two: you can get it.
Fact three: you belong.
So four: don't
"The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School" is a cute story about a fish that goes in to several classrooms but is unable to do the work that other students can and he gives up. A teacher comes and stops him before he leaves and takes him to the "New Fish" room so he can start to learn at the beginning.

My 5 year old liked this book, but my 8 year old although amused by the pictures thought the story was a little too young for him.
Toni Tawes
Mar 05, 2015 Toni Tawes rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed "The Pout Pout Fish Goes to School." It is intended for ages 2-5 and is a picture book. The story is about a fish that starts school and feels lost because he keeps on going to the wrong room. He wants to give up and feels like he doesn't belong. The story has a great moral. The illustrations are wonderful and I think the story should be read to children just starting school. It shows that everyone fits in somewhere!
Mr. Fish remembers his first day of school. He remembers thinking that he didn't belong at school at all because he couldn't find a classroom that was doing something he could do. He was eventually rescued from failure by the "kinderguppy" teacher. She led him to the classroom for brand new fish; and there Mr. Fish found his place.

Rather simpering and foolish, this is a syrupy story about beginning the journey that is education.
This is another fun book in Deborah Diesen's Pout-Pout Fish series. In rhyming text, Mr. Fish recalls his first day of school. He remembers how all the other fish seemed to know how to write, make shapes and do math. He was so intimidated because he couldn't do these things. He was ready to quit and then his teacher found him. She guided him to the right class and everything turned out all right. This is a sweet book for kids who are just starting school and might be a bit nervous.

The illustrati
I have always loved Pout Pout Fish and his upside down smile. I will be incorporating this rhyming, back to school title into my library lessons. Mr. Fish's teacher has a lovely lesson for us all-believe in ourselves. You are smart. You can get it. You belong Don't forget it.

Thanks to Kohls for selling Pout Pout Fish and friends stuffed characters. It will make my lesson so much more enjoyable for the kids.

Aug 29, 2014 Brittany rated it liked it
I feel like this book would make me terrified that I would go to the wrong class my first day of school and not be able to do anything the other kids were doing.
But that's just me.
It also got super repetitive.
However, I would use this for storytime followed by an explanation that kids WOULD NOT LIKELY get lost like Mr Fish did.
This book is good to read to kids who are apprehensive about school who are feeling less than capable of completing their schoolwork. There is rhyming in it, although I didn't find it as catchy as the original Pout Pout Fish book. Great illustrations, and best for a 1-on-1 read because the pictures are small and detailed.
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Deborah Diesen is the author of The Pout-Pout Fish, a rhyming children's picture book illustrated by Dan Hanna and published by Farrar Straus Giroux. Her book The Barefooted, Bad-Tempered Baby Brigade was published by Tricycle Press. She lives in Michigan. Visit her web site at and her blog at
More about Deborah Diesen...

Other Books in the Series

The Pout-Pout Fish (8 books)
  • Pout-Pout Fish, The
  • The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark
  • Smile, Pout-Pout Fish
  • Sweet Dreams, Pout-Pout Fish
  • The Pout-Pout Fish book and CD storytime set
  • The Pout-Pout Fish Tank: A Book and Fish Set
  • Lift-the-Flap Tab: Hide-and-Seek, Pout-Pout Fish

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