A leisurely paced, lushly illustrated story about a boy’s first fly-fishing trip.
Straightforward yet descriptive text portrays an intergenerational excursion in which young Art embarks on his first fly-fishing trip with his angler mother and grandfather. Partly told through remembrances of Art’s mother’s first such trip, the tale emphasizes the importance of family and learning from one another. Unlike his mother, Art does not hook a fish on his first try, but his persistence pays off when he catches a beautiful brown trout, depicted dramatically on its own spread. On the final spread, Art continues this fly-fishing tradition as a grandfather himself, the white man leading his interracial family to the same waters where he learned, eager to pass along this family experience. Warm, immersive illustrations change perspective to add drama and tension, even depicting that of an osprey overhead. The illustrations are rendered in charcoal pencil with digital coloration, creating a watercolor effect. Informative, accessible backmatter will appeal to children eager to take their own turns with the rod, providing guidelines, emphasizing conservation, and depicting both men and women anglers. Endpapers display and label nearly 80 different, brightly colored flies set against a background of light brown, water-stained paper, evocative of the book’s river setting.
No tall tale, this book delivers an authentic, heartwarming story with a focus on family and togetherness. (Picture book. 4-8)