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The Pout-Pout Fish

(The Pout-Pout Fish)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  9,691 ratings  ·  753 reviews

Deep in the water,
Mr. Fish swims about
With his fish face stuck
In a permanent pout.

Can his pals cheer him up?
Will his pout ever end?
Is there something he can learn
From an unexpected friend?

Swim along with the pout-pout fish as he discovers that being glum and spreading "dreary wearies" isn't really his destiny. Bright ocean colors and playful rhy
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 18th 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2008)
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Aug 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-children
The Pout-Pout Fish is a hauntingly realistic portrayal of one fish's journey through depression and self-loathing.


Much like what happens in real life, his well-meaning friends try to help him by giving him sage advice like, "turn that frown upside down" , but their words of wisdom go unheeded.


Ultimately he realizes that only the love of a good woman can lift him out of his sadness. It brought tears to my eyes when he realized that he was a Smooch-Smooch Fish!


Ok. Maybe not. But my little girl di
Aug 19, 2015 rated it did not like it
The Kiss-Kiss Fish needs to have a refresher course on consent before I read this book again.
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
P-P F is a funny story that will teach young children that they have control over how they interact with others - very important lesson.
Hannah Notess
Mar 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is basically a children's book version of "Hey gorgeous, why don't you smile more?" Thbbbbhththt.

As anyone who knows either of us might imagine, neither Sam nor I appreciated that message. So. back to the library it goes.

Also. Consent! We can teach kids about consent! This book does not.

Cute illustrations though.
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So rhythmic it reads itself -- love the phrases ("a kaleidoscope of mope") and the smooching finale. The best of the bunch so far.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
It was pretty cute, but I also had some consent questions for the kissing fish. You can't just go around kissing grumpy people.
Aug 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Parents of young kids, fish lovers, watercolor enthusiasts.
I have young twin boys who get a story every night, so we try to get a good selection from the library. This is one that has passed the twins test and will have to be purchased for our home library.

It's sing-songy and has a repeated refrain which the boys love, and the pictures are active enough that they are not always reaching to turn the page, they actually look at the pictures as we read.

It only gets four stars instead of five because the ending is a little weak.

The story is this: A Pout-Po
Kayla Edwards
Feb 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A cute little story about a fish with an ever-present pout and how everyone in his life tries to convince him to be happy. Not the biggest hit with my students, but a few were into it.
Nov 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: baby-h-books
The rhymes here are simply dazzling. Mom said the ending seems to suggest the titular fish has some boundary issues. Mom is frequently a Grade A killjoy.
Justin Pauls
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Would be 5 stars but that squid is super rude.
Donna Davis
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with a baby, toddler, or preschooler to shop for
It's a hard thing, buying board books (cardboard pages less likely to be ruined by tiny hands that might tear paper pages) online. I've finally got a grandchild, and obviously the thing a good Grammy buys at Christmas, is books. But I've been away from tiny people for over 15 years, and so once I bought him the good ones not already in my awesome kiddy collection, I was stumped. I saw that this one was popular, but we're only allowed to look at one or two pages on Amazon, and that makes it hard ...more
Cassandra Gelvin
Aug 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
Don't Read This To My Kids

This book sends absolutely the wrong message, in more ways than one. I hated it so much that I posted a video review of it on YouTube. You can find it on my channel, "Don't Read This To My Kids". Basically, the main character is upset, and the only thing his "friends" tell him is that he should smile for them, oblivious to the possibility that he might have a legitimate problem of some kind, or that feeling sad is even okay in this aquatic world. They don't want to deal
Dec 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fantastic book; a song that is catchy, with its repetitive lyrics and hilarious onomatopoeia as well as illustrations that are colorful and silly, yet still expressive. And we absolutely loved the ending. We really enjoyed reading this book - a perfect book for bedtime!

December 2015 update: I borrowed this book again from the library to share with our two-year-old niece during her visit with my brother-in-law just before Christmas. It has the same bouncy rhythm as Bear Snores On, and i
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
So, here's the thing. My 1-year-old loves the rhyming patter and the Blub Bluuub Bluuuuuub. And we can treat it as a cute, well-illustrated story about a fish affected by the dispositional attribution fallacy.

If you imagine swapping the gender roles, it is CREEPY:

"Hey there, girl, why don't you give me a smile?"
"Uh, I'd really rather not."
"C'mon, cheer up, luv."
"Please stop pestering me."
[A stranger swoops in making unrequested, nonconsensual advances.]
"Oh, wow, now I am liberated! I'm gonna
Oct 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Perfect to teach children (and perhaps a few adults!) that they can CHOOSE to be happy. Perfect for reading aloud in a library storytime - with some repeated parts allowing for audience participation and also some wonderful vocabulary and fun rhyming words. The illustrations are also VERY fun, with a wide cast of underwater sea creatures. My favorite illustration shows the pout-pout fish just after being kissed looking directly out of the center of a two-page spread - and he's actually still ups ...more
Apr 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sadia Mansoor
Jan 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: children
The book was fine but it is no way a children's book because of the ending :/
Nov 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Overcome your disadvantages, with a little extra actual affection & help instead of just nagging....

Not a good book for learning how to make predictions. The ending was totally out of the blue. But sometimes that's a good thing in a book - it's refreshing.

I didn't like it as I was first reading along, but then the ending made me realize what the author was doing, and so now I do. I still think it's a little long, a little heavy until the end, but it's fine. And I guess kids love it, so that
Stefanie Kline
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a CUTE sweet book!
Bea  Charmed
Cute. Stay strong Pout-Pout. Don't be bullied into being cheerful!
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is such a cute book, reminding littles that even a self-proclaimed grumpy fish can be cheered up with a kiss!
Cory Jensen
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My granddaughter's favorite book. It's a gem.
What a fun story about being happy and being able to be happy. A fun story for children of all ages - IT RHYMES! and what's not to love about reading out-loud in rhythm? Kids love it adults love it everyone will love this story. AND you will love the illustrations.

A hint about me - children's book must have good illustrations for me to really really like them.

Here are the first two stanza to entice you further;

Deep in the water
Where the fish hang out
Lives a glum gloomy swimmer
With an ever-pres
Feb 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for fun or for teaching a lesson on feelings!
In the beginning, the pout pout fish's friends come to see why he is so sad. As the story progresses the colors on the pages become less and less vibrant, the characters around him become less and less happy.
However, the Pout Pout fish discovers he doesn’t have to be sad so the vibrant colors return with a blast of excitement!
The story presents a wonderful opportunity for teaching children how their mood affects everyone around th
Jun 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
First, we have animals telling the pout-pout fish he should smile, because they don't wat to see his frown. NOPE. Don't go around telling other people to smile. It's none of your business and it's rude.

Then, we have the kiss-kiss fish and the pout-pout fish randomly kissing other dish, unprovoked and uninvited. NOPE. Guess what? That's called sexual assault.

This book is full of messages I don't want to pass on to any kids
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: emotions, fish, preschool
Yet another preschool-story-time-perfect book. The rhymey Dr. Seussian text teaches SO many awesome vocabulary words (we talked a lot about different words for "sad" and "in a bad mood" while reading), and the interactivity is awesome. It's great that kids can connect the length of the "blubs" to making the word sound longer. I love hearing a chorus of four-year-olds go, "BLUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUB!!" And then adorable smoochey noises. Yes.
Dec 18, 2014 added it
I've never read this book. I plan to add a random children's book to my feed for every book I edit. Often they aren't published in a timely manner (or ever in a manner that leads to them being in Goodreads) and I always read them a minimum of 2 times while editing so I should be able to count them towards my goal. Really, I should add 2 but I'll go with 1 at this point.

12/8 - SC E&S 132p
Aug 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Normally, I wouldn't rate a book I read to someone else. This one was for my nephew Isaiah. Isaiah wasn't really paying it any attentions but I really enjoyed it. So, damn it I'm going to mark it to say I read it.
Brooklin Banks
"I'm a pout pout fish with a pout pout face spreading my dreary wereys all over the place"
I love little kid books i just do
Dec 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fun to read aloud, especially if you enjoy exaggerating sound effects and kissing your wee listener at the end!
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Quirk in Goodreads 1 4 Sep 28, 2017 08:12AM  
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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

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