A grandfather moves in with his children in a city apartment and, with the help of his granddaughter, finds a new way to continue his passion.
Through fall and winter, building models or playing chess cannot really engage Grandpa, an avid angler at heart. Spring arrives, and his granddaughter, the narrator, initiates a pretend fishing game perched from their fire escape above the busy city street. They wait for a catch with poles, lines, and hooks. At first nothing happens, but their patience prevails as they reel in a piece of plastic they imagine to be a “flying litterfish.” The possibilities for skyfishing take off from there as the clutter of an urban sea produces flower pots, wind “chimefish,” and socks on a line—or “laundry eels.” But the biggest fish of all in their imagination rumbles deep below on the tracks. The steady narrative blends with whimsical paintings that transform the everyday congestion of a crowded metropolis into fantastical sea creatures. An ocean of aqua and blues across the bottom of the page parallels the dull browns and grays of high-rises and apartment buildings across the top. Fishing aficionados will enjoy the endpapers with accurate pen-and-ink drawings of real fish as well as childlike figures of the “fish” in the story. Grandpa and the narrator are white, and the city’s denizens are vibrantly diverse.
A sweet tale of how the power of play helps an elder adjust to a new life. (Picture book. 4-6)