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FISHING IN THE AIR by Sharon Creech


by Sharon Creech & illustrated by Chris Raschka

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 2000
ISBN: 0-06-028111-1
Publisher: HarperCollins

A father shows his son how to “catch” something far better than fish in Newbery-winner Creech’s (The Wanderer, p. 379, etc.) first picture book. The young narrator recalls an outing—a journey, as his father promises, to a secret place that turns out to be a riverbank where bubbles of breeze, slices of sun, and vivid memories of another boy and another time hover, waiting to be pulled in on the child’s hookless fish line. With dancing swirls and dabs of color, bodies arching across spreads as gracefully as dolphins, and images of past and present flowing together, Raschka (Ring! Yo?, 306, etc.) exuberantly echoes and amplifies the intensity of the shared experience. At the father’s suggestions, streetlights become tiny moons; trees in a row transform into soldiers; and recollections of a boyhood home, other fields, and another father swim into view. Creech’s prose is rich in flowing rhythms, tinged with sentiment, and no less replete with evocative images than the pictures. “ ‘Oh,’ my father said again. / ‘Where is that father / and that boy?’ / I reeled in my line. / ‘Right here,’ I said, / and he turned to look at me, / as I cast my line again / so high, so far.” A rare episode, with layers of meaning for readers of several generations. (Picture book. 6-8)