The perennially popular pout-pout fish is back with a new problem: how to find perfect gifts for all his friends.
Mr. Fish wears a “yuletide pout” in this holiday season because of his extensive shopping expectations. He wants his gifts to have “bling-zing,” to be big, bright, and perfect, “guaranteed to bring delight.” He shops till he plops but leaves the mall empty-handed “in a bout of pout-doubt.” His wise friend Miss Shimmer saves the day, with lots of craft supplies and advice about how to make his own presents “with his very own fins!” Mr. Fish finds that his simple, handmade gifts do meet his high expectations and that the camaraderie and goodwill shared with friends are the really meaningful gifts of the season. In addition to the wordplay, the text offers a calming, sensible approach to holiday gift giving with reinforcement of the value of handmade gifts. Hanna’s detailed illustrations of Mr. Fish’s watery world are filled with funny details, as when the sea creatures all hold one another’s tentacles as they celebrate the holiday. A holiday highlight is the arrival of Manta Claus, pulled in his sleigh by sea horses, of course.
Mr. Fish’s fans can chase away any holiday “dreary-wearies” with this latest entry in the series, though it’s more likely to be adults who face the holiday shopping quandary than children. (Picture book. 3-6)