To the Little Readers (Read this part aloud to them): Doesn’t everyone need a little help sometimes? Sometimes we can help with our hands – like when we help put the dinner dishes away, or help pull weeds, or even help put books away in the library. Other times, we can help with our words. We can help with our words by giving someone good ideas to solve a problem, cheer someone up who has had a bad day, or encourage someone to do something that’s difficult. That’s exactly what happens to the Pout-Pout Fish in Deborah Diesen’s book The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark! The Pout-Pout Fish has made a promise – to find his friend’s lost pearl – but it means facing one of his biggest fears, the dark! Are you afraid of the dark? I get afraid of the dark sometimes. Pout-Pout Fish says that he’s Fast as a sailfish, Strong as a shark, Smart as a dolphin, but he’s Scared of the dark! What is he going to do? Just like the main character in our book from January, he’s got to face his fear and be brave….and that’s usually easier to do with a friend to help. Who do you think will be the friend who helps Pout-Pout Fish? You’ll have to read to find out!
To the Grown-Ups (Why I recommend this book): The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark by Deborah Diesen is a fun book to read out loud and has lots of opportunities to get your little reader to read along. Even if she or he hasn’t learned the alphabet yet, there is lots of repetition in the book to make it easy for him or her to say those parts out loud with you. I even already got you set up for interactive reading with the introduction to the kids in the paragraph above – see the part with “Fast as a sailfish, Strong as a shark, Smart as a dolphin?” That’s in the book over and over again, and your Little Reader will love saying that part with you, louder and louder each time. There’s lots of alliteration, lots of rhyme, and lots of relevance to the lives of a lot of little kids. You can make actions to go along with the repetitive phrases, like making muscle arms when you say he’s “Strong as a shark” for example, or you can talk about how you can help others with words. This story will help you dive into interactive reading and discussion ideas. Whether you’re looking for a book on helping each other, a book on facing the dark, or just a colorful, fun beach-themed book for the end of summer, The Pout-Pout in the Big-Big Dark is a great book for August.