A much-anticipated family camping trip goes slightly awry.
In a follow-up to Gone Fishing (2013), Wissinger and Cordell again present a playful, delightfully illustrated verse narrative for primary graders centered on a family outing for white siblings Sam and Lucy. Where the previous book was largely told by Sam, as he fretted over his little sister’s hijacking of the fishing trip he’d envisioned alone with their father, here many of the poems reveal Lucy’s thoughts, giving equal time to her hopes and fears associated with their upcoming adventure in the woods. Everything is set for the family’s camping trip until Dad wakes up with a cold so fierce both he and Mom are forced to stay home. Though absent-minded Grandpa, who “putters” and “rarely goes outdoors,” steps in to salvage the trip, Lucy and Sam can hardly contain their disappointment. With his signature scribbly sketches, Cordell hilariously nails the change of mood from unbridled excitement, as Sam and Lucy race to surprise their parents with breakfast in bed, to Sam glowering as he eats his cereal and Lucy flat-on-her-back disconsolate on the floor, dropping cornflakes into her mouth at arm’s length with operatic affect, thinking: “This must be a trick. / Dad is never ever sick. / … / Say it isn’t true. / We won’t go camping without you two.” But the three venture off to the forest as Wissinger again takes occasion to explore myriad lyric poetic forms, explained in several pages of backmatter.
An uplifting tale showing what fun may be had when one summons the courage to head into the woods and off the grid. (bibliography) (Verse novel. 6-9)