The Not Very Merry Pout Pout Fish


Holiday sequel to New York Times bestselling Pout-Pout Fish series reminds young readers what being merry is all about! This really is a delightful Holiday story with wonderful illustrations!

We had the opportunity to participate in a Blog Tour and find out some interesting facts about the book from the Author and Illustrator!

Here are a few Q & A! The first ones are from the Illustrator, Dan Hanna!

What illustration in The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish did you have the most fun creating?

I especially like the one where Mr. Fish imagines giving Ms. Clam the robot body.  She just looks so happy and empowered.


The items in the shop and the gifts Mr. Fish imagines in this story are so detailed and quirky. How did you come up with them? Did you have a specific inspiration?

For the imagined gifts, I drew on my own experience as a kid where I would dream up magnificent presents for my family and friends.  Eventually, as with Mr. Fish, I would have to confront reality and drastically scale back my plans.


The shop items are based on all the goofy stuff you can find on the shelves of some of the more interesting gift shops.


Of all the items that the Pout-Pout fish dreams up (robot, spaceship, submarine etc.), which one would you love to get this Christmas?

The Submarine!  When I was a kid there was an ad in the back of a comic book for a submarine.  The ad went something like this:


“Delux Submarine!  Life Size!  Torpedo Tubes!  Absolutely NO Cardboard Parts!  Only $10!!


I saved up the money and sent away for it.   As I waited for it to be delivered my dreams were filled with visions of underwater adventure.  Eventually it arrived and sank my dreams into the abyss.  It was just a cardboard box with torpedo tubes made from toilet roll tubes.  It was even more depressing than the Sea Monkeys and X-Ray Glasses.


What do you think was your most valuable childhood experience?

Being bored.  I firmly believe that having enough free time to sit around and be bored is very important for the development of a healthy imagination.

The next ones are Q & A from the Writer, Deborah Diesen.

How did you come up with the original Pout-Pout fish book in 2008?

The story grew out of an actual pout!  One day many, many years ago, when my elder son was a preschooler, he was having a very grouchy afternoon.  Hoping to amuse him, I made an exaggerated pouty face at him.  He smiled and then pouted right back, which got us both laughing.  “We look like fish,” I said.  “Like pout-pout fish!”  As soon as I said that out loud, it became a story idea.  I jotted the idea down and I started writing The Pout-Pout Fish that same day.  Years later, I started sending the story to publishers, and in 2005 it was accepted at Farrar, Straus & Giroux Books for Young Readers.  The book was published in 2008 and began a series of stories, all featuring Mr. Fish, his friends, and their adventures.

What do you hope young readers (ages 3-6) will learn from The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish? Is there a message here for grown-ups as well?

I hope that Mr. Fish’s latest tale will help children to realize that presents don’t need to be expensive or complicated or splashy.  Simple, heartfelt presents that connect us to one another are the best gifts of all.  A drawing; a craft project; time spent together; even just a smile!  These sorts of gifts are the most cherished and the most enduring.  It’s a lesson we grown-ups have to re-learn periodically as well.



Publisher website:
You can purchase at the following:
Look for this book this Holiday Season!
Self Disclosure: I received a free book to participate in the Holiday Book Blog Tour. No other compensation was received to post.

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