This look back at when Mr. Fish was young and starting school for the first time focuses on belonging.
Poor little Mr. Fish is not having a good first day of school. It started off well enough with a smooch from his parents, but then he lost his way in the big building. He peeks in several doorways and attempts to do the work he sees the other little fish doing, but he just can’t, whether it’s writing his name, drawing a rhombus or doing long division. Each time, the frustrated fish plops down his pencil and counts his troubles: “Trouble One: I’m not smart! / Trouble Two: I’ll never get it! / Trouble Three: I don’t belong! / So Four: I should forget it!” Just as he is ready to leave the school, his new teacher finds him and turns his troubles on their heads with a rhyme sure to accompany children on their own first days. As in the Pout-Pout Fish’s other adventures, Hanna’s cartoonish ocean realm is full of details for both children and adults (don’t miss the posters and signs on the school walls), the various sea creatures using whatever appendages they have to complete their schoolwork.
Diesen tackles a worry not often found in back-to-school books; young Mr. Fish will ease children’s fears about what will be expected of them. (Picture book. 2-5)