imagesYou know what a fan I am of the Pout-Pout Fish and his adventures, especially his first introduction and venturing off to school. Well I just got an advance copy of Deborah Diesen and Dan Hanna’s newest adventure, “The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish” as Mr. Fish tackles the holidays, being a bit of a perfectionist as he tries to get the perfect gift for each friend and bake the tastiest cookies. There is a message for kids as well as parents as they read of his frustration and stress until Miss Shimmer gives him the best advice, to give from the heart. Out come the art supplies and the best gifts are homemade.

The vocabulary sets up a perfect language lesson around holiday themes and the clever drawings add much to the story and providing many opportunities for conversation with your kids. The shopping scenes are especially rich for describing and discussing. Here is my full review of this newest PAL Award winner:

I just love the opening stanzas of Mr. Fish’s latest escapade:

“In a festive ocean corner, Fish were decking out the reef, Hanging tinsell, bows and lights, In a holiday motif.”

Can you get into the rhythm of that luscious language?? We are off on another adventure loaded with rich descriptive vocabulary thanks to author, Debbie Diesen, who knows the wealth in words and Dan Hanna who visually transforms the ocean floor into a visual feast of holiday fun, adding details that amuse and enrich the story. Mr. Fish didn’t feel the merriment as he was bogged down with his “to do” list–get the perfect present for everyone and bake the tastiest cookies.   There was much to explore as Mr. Fish went shopping checking out baubles, trinkets, and gadgets like “Massage in a Bottle,” or “Blackbeard’s Other Beard,”while parents enjoyed the deeper meanings of “Mr. Limpet’s Glasses” and “Das Boot.” Mr. Fish was on the move but kept arriving just as the stores closed, unable to purchase a single gift. The gentle voice of Miss Shimmer advised him to make his gifts, “For the best gifts of all come straight from the heart!” This story of keeping our perscpective at holiday time is a great read for kids as well as adults. Cut down on the frantic shopping for the perfect gift and give from your heart. How timely to get that message right before Christmas!