using The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish in speech therapy

Frequent Speech Sounds:

/f/ initial and medial
/sh/ final



Book Details:

Diverse Characters: N/A
Age Recommendation: Early Childhood, Elementary

The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish

By Deborah Diesen

“A gift should be big, And a gift should be bright. And a gift should be perfect-Guaranteed to bring delight. And a gift should have meaning plus a bit of bling-zing, so I'll shop till I drop for each just-right thing!”

Will Mr. Fish find perfect gifts for everyone on his list? Will he finish his shopping in time? Swim along with The Pout-Pout Fish on his holiday shopping quest. He might just discover that the best gifts of all come straight from the heart.

This Christmas book about a caring fish can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like friendship and worrying. It is also great for problem solving, rhyming and repetitive text as well as for targeting /f/ and /sh/ sounds! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish in speech therapy below: 

Key Teaching concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode

Narrative Concepts:

problem solving
illustration study
text features
phonological awareness
repetitive text


order of events Mr. Fish takes to get his friends all presents


festive, gloomy, pout, delight, baubles, trinkets

Character Analysis:

At the beginning of the story, Mr. Fish is very grumpy. How does he feel at the end?


Mr. Fish is so worried about getting his friends the perfect present that he is missing out on the Christmas spirit.


verbs (mental state)

Text Features:

exclamation points

Phonological Awareness:



Problem Solving:

Is there another way Mr. Fish can get his friends presents without buying them?

If you are interested in seeing other Christmas books to use in therapy, then check out the Narrative Teaching Points Book List for a printable copy.