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The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School

(The Pout-Pout Fish)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  762 ratings  ·  149 reviews
Turn little pouts into big smiles!
Mr. Fish is nervously awaiting his first day of school, and he frets about not knowing how to write his name, how to draw shapes, and how to do 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 (first published May 1st 2014)
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3.98  · 
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 ·  762 ratings  ·  149 reviews

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Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture, school
In case your tiny tyke is not already anxious about starting school, create unfounded fears by sharing this book!

It's important to keep reminding kids that math is hard and they're no good at it.

Plus really bad poetry.
Mr. Fish returns in this third picture-book devoted to his adventures, following upon The Pout-Pout Fish and The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark , this time confronting the daunting experience of beginning school for the first time. Everywhere he goes, he finds that he doesn't have the requisite knowledge to succeed, something which only strengthens his naturally gloomy outlook, leading to his conclusion that he doesn't belong in school. Fortunately, his teacher Miss Hewitt gets to him jus ...more
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“It was good” says Grace, these are daddy’s favorite books to read.
Alexandra Seals
Jun 05, 2016 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
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
I love The Pout-Pout Fish and was excited to see this book at our local library's swap bin.

I wasn't sure if it would be as good as the original, but I liked the back-to-school theme.
Toni Facteau
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School by Deborah Diesen is published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2014. There are 32 pages to this book and I gave it 2/5 stars because I did not believe it was a favorite, but I did enjoy the concept of the book. The genre of the book is Fiction, the grade level is Preschool-Kindergarten, the Lexile level is 490L and the Guided Reading Level is a L.

This book is about Pout-Pout the fish who starts his very first day of school. He is very scared at looking at all o
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 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.
Tasia Sandlin
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is about a fish that goes to school for the first time and he ends up in the wrong class and he thinks he is not smart, he will never get it, he doesn’t belong, and he should just forget it. He continues to move on to find the class that he thinks he belongs in and continues to think he doesn’t belong. Mr.Fish begins to leave school and right before he gives up completely a nice teacher named Miss Hewitt tells him,” yes you do belong, you belong in my class for the brand new fish. Mr. ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Sep 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-recommended
The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School by Deborah Diesen, illustrated by Dan Hanna. BOARD BOOK Farrar Straus Grioux, 2014. $8. 9780374308520



Mr. Fish is headed off to his first day of school and is excited, but when he gets there he is lost. As Mr. Fish tries to find the correct classroom, he gets more and more discouraged. Just as he is about to quit school, his teacher finds him and shows him that he is going to fit right in.

Pout-Pout Fish books ar
Micaela Muldoon
Dec 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: younger-children
*Read t0 my niece.

Cute and well-illustrated. It's about a fish that stumbles into all the wrong classrooms with students much older than he is. He does not know how to do schoolwork at their level, so he thinks he isn't smart or good enough. Eventually, he ends up in the class with his grade, and his teacher reassures him that he is smart and capable. The only problem I find with the book is that, in the fish's correct class, everyone understands the lessons and can complete the work. What messa
The Pout-Pout Fish is off to school, but he's lost as soon as he gets there. Every classroom he tries seems too advanced, and all the other students know what they're doing. Losing his smile and his confidence, Mr. Fish is about to leave school - it's not for him! - when one of the teachers, Mrs. Hewitt, finds him and leads him back to her classroom for NEW fish. That's where he starts to learn the skills he will need for his other classes. Lessons learned: 1. We are smart! 2. We can get it! 3. ...more
SJ Loria
Jan 19, 2019 rated it liked it
I was expecting this to be a glamorization of whining and I was pleasantly surprised by the turn. He tells himself “I can’t do this / learn” a bit too many times but then the nice teacher directs him to the right part of fish school and the frown turns upside down.
Interesting how many books are preparing children to co-exist with others in that thing called school. A lot of people have anxiety about school. It’s the one thing that we make people do (well, children do) where you have to mix with
Mary Kate
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a reader, I first read this book because a little boy I babysit asked me if I would read a new book he got to him. As I was reading this book, I realized how I also found myself interested and learning a lesson through it. This book was a easy but fun read. I really enjoyed it so much I went and bought the book for myself!
As a future teacher, I think this book is a great book to read in the classroom. It teaches the lesson to students that you aren't expected to know things that I (the teache
Carson Gentry
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is about a fish who goes to school for the first time. Pout-Pout fish tries a lot of different subjects. He tries spelling, shapes, and math and still can't figure it out. He eventually decided to quit school. As he is leaving school has stopped by HIS teacher. The teacher encourages him and helps the fish succeeded.

This was a very good book. I think that this book would be a great book to be a theme of a kindergarten classroom. I think that the teacher should read it on the first day
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
A long time ago, Pout-Pout Fish went to school for the very first time. He wandered from classroom to classroom, never able to do the work and he believed that he was incapable. As he tried to leave, his teacher found him and brought him into his preschool class and he discovered that he could do it, and so could his classmates.

A wonderful book to read the first day of school for any child.

A good reminder that we may think we cannot do something but with hard work we can accomplish anything.

Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
A long time ago Mr. Pout pout fish went to school for the first time. It wasn't easy and he had trouble until he found the right place for him.

I love the illustrations. Great book for kids starting school soon! My son liked it, and I thought it was cute. I would advise parents to think about your child's personality before purchasing this book/reading it to them; Are they easily worried? Shy? Nervous? If they have any fears at all about school, I'm not sure how this book will impact on a child w
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it
This is the first Pout-Pout fish book that I have ever read, and to be honest, I am really not sure why everyone RAVES about this series. It is ok, but all it is about is a whiny little fish that pouts and then gets happy again. I think it should be renamed pout-pout toddler fish. I hope the rest of them are not like this, because that could make for a long series. My daughter likes the pout-pout fish, but that could also be where her "pouting" is coming from. Perhaps I should re-think reading t ...more
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think I may have found one of the best first day of school books ever. First off, it is all sing song rhyme that would be great during storytime. But it's the story. The Pout Pout Fish goes from room to room in his new school and he can't do it so he wants to forget it. That is until the right teacher comes along and tells him the 4 facts, that every new student needs to hear. I am in love with this book.
Ro Menendez
Mr. Fish's first experience at school starts out very disappointing. He enters various classrooms of students who are older than he is, know things he does not know, and although he tries to do the work he cannot. Finally when he is going to give up and leave school his "Kinderguppy" teacher finds him and leads him to the correct class where the negative refrain the reader has been exposed to by Mr. Fish 3 times is corrected and repeated 3 times.
Austin Gullett
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Continuing on my quest to conquer the entire Pout-Pout Fish Mythos, we've come to this nice little board book. Anxiety centered around the looming First Day of School is one all too common, and it's an unfortunate anxiety. Books that look at and acknowledge that fear honestly and treat it with kindness and reinforce the importance an inherent joy of participating in education are very important, and this book is a part of that canon.
Shelby Miller
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-book
This book was inspirational because along the way I found myself wanting the pout-pout fish to keep trying, and I think it would send a good message to students that they can be successful in school because there are teachers there who care about them. The book also rhymed, which made it easier to follow along to.
Topics: rhyme, letters, counting, shapes, school, motivation, inspiration, keep trying, positive attitudes.
Bethany Cuppett
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: free-choice-5
This book is perfect to read to students when they are feeling down or aren't feeling like they are capable. I love how this book shows students that even though they don't understand it now, they will eventually. It is okay for them to not know everything now.
The Brothers
Nov 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fish, belonging, school
Pout-Pout fish reminisces about his first day of school and how when you end up in the wrong place, you will feel stupid and that you can't do what's expected. But! Once you find that right space, everything can change.

Cute, colorful illustrations.
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school, picture-book
We are on a Pout Pout fish kick at a our house. This is the first featuring Mr. Fish that we've read and my son (nearly 4) is hooked. He's sent me back to the library with strict instructions to get all the Pout Pout fish books I can find. I'm good with that!
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Grade K-2
This is a cute rhyming story. It is a great story about not giving up even though you may feel like a failure. Excellent adventures and solution at the end. Elementary counselors will love this one. I would buy for my library. Highly recommended for Grades K - 2.
Deana Pittman
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: alli
Alli says, "I like it because it was funny when he was on his head in the story. He was upside down and it looked like he was smiling. Miss Hewitt was very pretty and very nice to the Pout-Pout fish."
Mr. Fish recalls and shares his memories of his first day of school. He tells how unsure he felt about being there and fitting in and not knowing anything. He then meets his teacher, Miss Hewitt, and she encourages him and his classmates to learn the things they don't know.
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book teaches you to never give up. The harder you work, the more you will understand. Pout Pout fish thought he was not smart and could not learn. Thankful for the new student teacher, he knew he was capable of learning.
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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

Other books in the series

The Pout-Pout Fish (1 - 10 of 29 books)
  • The Pout-Pout Fish
  • The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark
  • The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish
  • The Pout-Pout Fish, Far, Far from Home
  • The Pout-Pout Fish and the Bully-Bully Shark
  • The Pout-Pout Fish and the Can't-Sleep Blues
  • The Pout-Pout Fish Cleans Up the Ocean
  • The Pout-Pout Fish Learns to Read
  • Pout-Pout Fish: Easter Surprise
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