The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish – book review and giveaway!!


Are you familiar with the Pout-Pout Fish books? These books, written by Deborah Diessen and illustrated by Dan Hanna have been entertaining and teaching kids since 2008. We have been reading the Pout-Pout Fish books with Q since he was quite young. He has always liked them, and I like that they are cute, kid friendly books with a positive message. Messages about being a good friend, being brave, all things that he could relate to, even as a preschooler. With bright, colourful illustrations and engaging, easy to read rhyming verse, the Pout-Pout Fish is a great teaching and learning tool for parents too.

In the latest book, The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish, Mr Fish is on a quest to find the perfect gifts for all of his friends before the holidays arrive. He feels that they should be big, bright, perfect, and bring lots of delight to the recipient. He envisions amazing gifts that will wow his friends, something absolutely spectacular. At the first store he goes to, there are way too many things to choose from, so he feels that he needs to keep looking. At the next store, he sees the hottest holiday item for sale, only to find out that they were all sold out. He continues to look, only to discover that the last store is closed, and he is all out of time! Without even a single gift!


Sadly, Mr Fish realizes that he has no gifts to give his friends, and decides that he cannot attend the holiday party. That is, until his friend Miss Shimmer reminds him that all he really needs to bring to the party is himself, but that if he really wanted to give gifts, he still has time to start. She reminds him that the best gifts come straight from the heart, and helps him make gifts for all his friends with a smile on his face. Mr Fish attends the party, where he proudly gives out the presents he made for everyone. It turns out that the first he made were the exact right gift for each one of his friends. He learns that the real joy of the season is spending time with the people you care about, giving from your heart.

I think that this is a fantastic book to remind everyone about the true meaning of the holidays, and reminding us that when we give our time, and our love to the people we care about, that, truly, is the best gift of all.


Since this is a kids book, I thought that I would go straight to the source and find out what my 7 year old son Q thought about it. I recorded his thoughts on the book, and how I wish I could share the recording with you all, it is absolutely adorable, and is his first book review for “our blog” as he calls it.

Q liked that the book was about Christmas. He says that he learned that “you can make stuff and not just buy stuff. It’s nicer to make a gift because then it might be awesome.” He says that there was nothing that he didn’t like about the book. He said that he also learned that “friends can help you” and that presents don’t have to be perfect to be awesome. “What makes a gift awesome is that you made it, and it comes from your heart.” He thinks that the perfect age for this book would be kids from age 3-8, and that it would be especially good for kids in Kindergarten, Grade One and Grade Two.

You can get to know more about the Pout-Pout Fish, find some fun activities and teacher resources, and learn more about the author and illustrator on Mr Fish’s website

I liked that there was a lesson to the story, and that the book was fun and easy to read. It is a story that Q has read several times since we received it, and one I can see him reading over the next several weeks of the Christmas season. And because we liked it so much, I am really excited to be able to give a copy away to one lucky reader.

All you have to do is leave me a comment on this post letting me know your favourite homemade gift to give or receive is, and then come back here and click on the Rafflecopter form so that I know that you entered. Once you’ve done that, you can get some bonus entries to increase your chance of winning this awesome book, just in time for the holidays. This giveaway is open to both Canadian and U.S. readers. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have any problems with the entry form, let me know and I will try to help out. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond before an alternate winner is selected. Otherwise, good luck! I know you are going to love this book as much as we do.


  1. sarahonpurpose2015 says

    So many great homemade gifts over the years. One year we made goat cheese and gave that as gifts. Made wine on various years and that was usually hit. This year we are giving the BEST apricot jam ever! I want to hoard it all away, but I won’t.

  2. Jess Lynn says

    We love the pout pout fish! My favorite handmade gifts to give is baked goods and cards. We have given baked goods to a lot of people and they are normally very well received and much appreciated!

  3. Jillian Too says

    I love making and giving cookies for the holidays. Maybe this year we should try to make Merry Pout-Pout cookies.

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