by Tamera Will Wissinger
Illustrated by Matthew Cordell
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Nine-year-old Sam loves fishing with his dad. So when his pesky little sister, Lucy, horns in on their fishing trip, he’s none too pleased: “Where’s my stringer? / Something’s wrong! / The princess doll does not belong!” All ends well in this winsome book of poems—each labeled with its proper poetic form, from quatrain to tercet. Together the poems build a dawn-to-dusk story of a father-son bond, of sibling harmony lost and found—and most of all, of delicious anticipation. Charming line drawings animate the poetry with humor and drama, and the extensive Poet’s Tackle Box at the end makes this the perfect primer to hook aspiring poets of all ages
Oh my gosh, this is such a wonderful story told through a series of verses. Sam is looking forward to a father-son only fishing trip, but wouldn’t you know it, groggy Dad told little sister Lucy that there was room for one more in the car. Sam was annoyed — especially considering that Lucy “traded” her dolls for much of his fishing gear. Out on the boat, Lucy does not want to be quiet, which further annoys her brother. She is loving it though. She was the only one catching fish that day and Sam was getting more agitated. Finally, he caught one. Lucy cheered for him.
Sam learned more about fish on that day’s adventure. He discovered he had a lot more to learn about life. Fishing is not about who caught the most, or the largest, or how many got away. It is about family and memories created during those long, quiet hours on the lake. Although, if anyone takes Lucy on the lake, they should bring some ear plugs.
My favorite verse in the book is titled A Fishy Spell:
May a worm crawl up your nose,
Leeches creep between your toes.
May your nails be caked with dirt,
May a bug fly up your skirt.
Wissinger includes, at the back of the book, a brief introduction to poetry and the different styles she used to tell Sam’s story.
Wonderful illustrations bring the verses to life.
Overall rating: ♥♥♥♥♥