A playful verse narrative of the joys and perils of a family fishing trip.
In her poetic debut for primary graders, Wissinger tells the sweet domestic tale of a much-anticipated family outing from the viewpoints of young Sam, sister Lucy and Dad. Sam eagerly looks forward to fishing solo with his father—“It’ll be like playing catch or / painting the garage. / Just Dad and me. / Fishing”—when younger sis Lucy horns in and threatens to ruin the fun. First, Lucy disturbs the contents of Sam’s tackle box, then renders Sam despondent when her singing helps her catch a handful of fish even before Sam has caught one. But the trip vastly improves for Sam when he lands a sizable catfish, leading Lucy to gush with pride for him. The resolution to this muted sibling-rivalry plot is reached via a number of verse forms, from the kid-friendly acrostic, haiku and concrete poem to the purposefully silly double dactyl, a form so complex Wissinger admits her example here follows only in “spirit.” Alongside the poems, Cordell’s light yet expressive illustrations neatly capture the day’s shifting mood. Perhaps in a nod to teachers, Wissinger tacks on a note on writing poetry, adding definitions of literary terms and verse forms in language too sophisticated for many in the work’s intended audience.
Appendix aside, this tender, well-crafted sibling story should hook many readers. (bibliography) (Verse fiction. 5-9)