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Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School, written by Deborah Diesen and illustrated by Dan Hanna. Farrar Straus Giroux, Macmillan. Raincoast Books, 2014. $18.99 ages 3 and up

"Trouble One:
I'm not smart!

Trouble Two:
I'll never get it!

Trouble Three:
I don't belong!

Trouble Four:
I should forget it!"

If you have a little one who is a fan of the Pout-Pout Fish, and you missed this book last year just before school started, here's a little bit about his first day at school.

He is frightened of the unknown, as so many are. The first thing he does is get lost. Everyone else seems to know what they are doing. Pout-Pout is shy, and not sure of anything. As he checks out the classrooms that he passes, he makes stops to see if it's the right place for him.

Met with failure at every turn, he moves on. He has numerous worries. No matter the doorway and the learning going on inside each one, Pout Pout finds himself unable to do what is expected of him. It's too difficult! Luckily, he doesn't want to give up. When all experiences point to his packing it in and heading for home, he finds solace in a gentle voice:

"Then a soft, kind voice said,
"Don't you fret!
You don't have to know things
You haven't learned yet!"

Finally, he finds a place of comfort at his new school. A door with a star welcomes 'Brand-New Fish'. His teacher instills confidence and his first day ensures that he will be back for more.

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