(Hey, also check out my craft for Ugly Fish!)

This has been a long time coming. I am very excited.

For those of you that aren’t aware of Ugly Fish, here is the nearly spoiler free summary: Ugly Fish is a big jerk and anytime a new fish shows up in his tank he eats them. Yup. It IS the best picture book ever. And I swear only once has a little girl stared in horror as I read.

That thing on the bottom is a stick tunnel, by the way.

I thought it would be fun to go over how I make my flannel boards. Normally this would involve showing you lots of well-lit photos and fancy diagrams of technique and process. But here’s a secret: I’m lazy.

As you can see here, I used a mixture of googly eyes, Sharpie and cut pieces for details. I didn’t stick EXACTLY to how the characters looked in the book, but I tried to make it approximate.

PRO TIP: To get the right shape and size all I did was photocopy the book, cut out the fish and trace them onto the felt.

I’m particularly proud of Ugly Fish himself. Having the right felt colors was pure luck. Not accidentally slicing off his thin lip was also luck. And check out his teeth:
Instead of trying to hot glue tiny teeth onto a tiny lip (oh also: hot glue all the way for flannel boards. The pain you suffer through will be worth not having pieces fall apart before storytime) I cut out a single strip. Did the same thing for Shiny Fish.
So this was less of a “how to” and more of a “here’s some ideas”. A lot of the tricks I’ve picked up in making paper cut art.
I used this along WITH the book.  When a character showed up, I put him on the board, and when a character exited I took him off. Ugly Fish has such amazing visuals I at first wasn’t sure if a flannel board would add anything to it. The kids enjoyed it, however, and you might even consider (for much smaller groups) to have the kids help you put the fish up or take them down.
If your storytime crowd isn’t already emotionally scarred for life, check out my Food Chain tag on Shelfari. Yeah. I’ve done a food chain storytime. But’s that’s for another post….
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  1. molliekay says:

    I love that story! I think my storytime groups have finally gotten used to me using some pretty strange books during storytime, so I might try reading this to the group. Great job on the fishies!

    • Thanks! It’s one of my favorite storytime books now. I always get kind of nervous reading an atypical story, but more often than not the kids surprise me and get really into it.

      The illustrations are so great it doesn’t REALLY need a flannel board but…it was too much fun to make, so I did it anyway. :D

  2. LOVE it! I have never seen this book but your flannel pieces are soooooooooooooooo… can’t even think of an appropriate word for them. AWESOME job!

    No library in my system has this book. :-( Guess I’m headed to b&n.com to order one so I can actually read the story.

    • It’s a tragedy they don’t have it. It’s such a fun book. Not many picture books dare to teach morals by showing legit consequences. (you’ll see :) )

  3. […] Seth (or is it Sethers?) offers a fish only a mother could love: Ugly Fish […]

  4. […] meant to post this the week after my Ugly Fish flannel board, but I forgot to…uh…write the entire post. So here it […]

  5. […] and I’m working on some new stuff for this storytime session that I am excited about. Ugly Fish flannel board level of […]

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