Smile, Pout-Pout Fish

Deborah Diesen, illus. by Dan Hanna. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $5.99 (12p) ISBN 978-0-374-37084-8

The “glum-glum” star of The Pout-Pout Fish appears in his first original board book, which touches on basic emotions. A straightforward rhyme guides the story, as the frowny blue fish interacts with a wormlike creature that pokes out from holes in the seabed. “No need to be worried./ No need to be sad,” Diesen writes as the worm disappears from one hole and pops up in another, leaving the pout-pout fish with tears welling up in his eyes. Hanna’s mixed-media artwork makes each of the fish’s emotions crystal clear as the book moves toward a happy resolution: “What a smile, Mr. Fish!” Ages 1–4. (Jan.)