June 23, 2014

Mr. E Asks 3: Debbie Diesen (The Pout-Pout Fish)

...OUT JUNE 24...

I hope you all know the joy that is THE POUT POUT FISH!  My students love these books!!!!  Several years ago Debbie Diesen, the author of The Pout Pout Fish, commented on my blog after I had used her book as inspiration for a lesson.  I so appreciated her taking the time to comment....love that she has that kind of connection with her audience!!  Well, I contacted her to see if she would want to be part of Mr. E Asks 3....and she shared that The Pout Pout Fish had another adventure about to take place!!  The Pout Pout Fish Goes to School!!!   I love this...because my oldest daughter will be going to kindergarten this fall, and I can see her connecting with this story!!!  Ok..enough of me going on and on....

I HOPE YOU ENJOY MR. E ASKS 3: Debbie Diesen!!! 
(OH...and read all the way to the bottom of the post for something extra fun!)

Do you have a favorite place to "create" your stories?  
If so where is it & why?

Ideally, I love to be outside when I’m writing, though that’s not always

practical here in Michigan.  But regardless of where I am, I prefer to have

a pen or pencil in hand when I’m writing.  I do use the computer later,

after I have a complete first draft, but pretty much everything I write

starts out handwritten.  Having a pen in my hand helps me tap into the

writing part of my mind.

Were you involved in the arts as a child/teenager?

I loved to write when I was young, and I was very lucky to have parents,

teachers, and school librarians who encouraged me in my writing.  I was

pretty shy and timid back then (something I haven’t yet entirely outgrown!),

but the encouragement I received in those early years gave me confidence in
myself as a writer, then and now.  I am very grateful!

When you first wrote the Pout Pout Fish, 

did you know his story was going to continue? 

When I first wrote the story, I didn’t know Mr. Fish would have more
adventures.  And in fact, I didn’t even know he’d ever see Miss Shimmer
again!  At the time, I imagined the life-changing kiss of the first book to

be a Random Act of Smoochiness.  But after Dan Hanna’s delightful art

brought Mr. Fish and his friends to life, it became clear that Mr. Fish had

more stories to tell.  It has been a joy beyond measure to create and share

those stories with children!


Leave a comment with a 2 or 3 sentence description of a fish lesson you use in your classroom!  I'll draw a name from those who do this...and the winner will receive a complete set of The Pout Pout Fish Books!  Please "Like" Art With Mr. E on Facebook & "Follow" me on Twitter to see if your name is selected!!! 


  1. My principal reads the Pout, Pout Fish story in an assembly to all our kids at the beginning of the year as part of our fish-themed behavior management plan. Kids can be "Caught in the Act" of doing good things and be given a "fish" reward ticket that earns prizes and rewards for the class. I, of course, got asked to sketch out a Pout, Pout fish coloring page for them to have a contest. As to fish-themed projects, my 3rd graders did a fabulous Gyotaku fish printing unit, where they got a chance to print from one of the rubber fish molds,and then make their own fish design to print by carving into styrofoam. All their prints went onto a crayon/watercolor resist underwater scene background. I'd love to receive some books to continue adding to my art library!!

  2. For my fish lesson I have my students create a watercolor resist using texture plates. They fold their paper into 12 rectangles, and color in each section with a different color/texture plate and then cover the paper with watercolor paint. The color is just fabulous, so on the back they will draw a large fish, cut it out, add details to the fish and attach it to construction paper where they create the rest of the scene. This is one of the kids favorite projects to do so it would be great to have another book to use other than The Rainbow Fish!

  3. We do a fun lesson using recycled materials to create 3D fish. Students bring in a variety of materials from home to incorporate. This shows them how art can be created from refuse.

  4. I do a fish lesson based on the book "Only One You" by Linda Kranz. You could paint ricks, like the illustrator does, but we used paper plates and focused on patterns using markers to add lots of color. The book is a great way to get students thinking and talking about how we are all different, but all special. The students can even add a little advice or words of wisdom on their piece. Here's the link to the project: http://createartwithme.blogspot.com/2012/05/inspiring-art-books-only-one-you-by.html
    Thanks, Mr. E!

  5. Fish Prints! I have several sets of the small rubber fish that I use for printing with Kindergarten students. I also have a set of the larger rubber fish for older student prints.

  6. Oh and ceramic slab fish. Texture the slab and them roll it into a cylinder, pinching along where the edges meet to form a fin. Pinch the tail area shut and leave the mouth wide open.