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Nine-year-old Sam loves fishing with his dad. So when his pesky little sister, Lucy, horns in on their fishing trip, he’s none too pleased: “Where’s my stringer? / Something’s wrong! / The princess doll does not belong!” All ends well in this winsome book of poems—each labeled with its proper poetic form, from quatrain to tercet. Together the poems build a dawn-to-dusk story of a father-son bond, of sibling harmony lost and found—and most of all, of delicious anticipation. Charming line drawings animate the ...
Nine-year-old Sam loves fishing with his dad. So when his pesky little sister, Lucy, horns in on their fishing trip, he’s none too pleased: “Where’s my stringer? / Something’s wrong! / The princess doll does not belong!” All ends well in this winsome book of poems—each labeled with its proper poetic form, from quatrain to tercet. Together the poems build a dawn-to-dusk story of a father-son bond, of sibling harmony lost and found—and most of all, of delicious anticipation. Charming line drawings animate the poetry with humor and drama, and the extensive Poet’s Tackle Box at the end makes this the perfect primer to hook aspiring poets of all ages.
"A playful verse narrative of the joys and perils of a family fishing trip. . . . This tender, well-crafted sibling story should hook many readers."
"Engaging verse that's just the right depth and length for chapter-book readers. . . A solid, entertaining story to hook children on poetry."
"All of Sam's episodes take the form of poems, each discreetly labeled by its poetic form, which is then defined at the end of the book. . . most will enjoy the notion that there are as many ways to tell a tale as to catch a fish."
"This novel in verse successfully builds a story filled with anticipation, family humor, and sibling rivalry. . . . Wissinger deftly plies her craft to ensure that the use of poetry enhances the readability of the story"
—School Library Journal, starred review
Dad and I hunt worms tonight.
Tiptoe near and grab them quick.
Tug-o-war with earth and worm.
Set our bucket near the door.
Look out, fish — we’re on our way!
JUST DAD AND ME
Free Verse Poem
For fishing tomorrow
it’s just us two.
Not Mom, not Grandpa,
It’ll be like playing catch or
painting the garage.
Just Dad and me.
MY TACKLE BOX
I love my fishing tackle box — it’s green and blue and gold.
My grandpa gave it to me when I wasn’t very old.
I need to get it ready for tomorrow at the lake.
We’re leaving in the morning just as soon as we’re awake.
One tiny click and now my treasure chest is open wide.
A shelf with lots of little spaces holds my gear inside.
My silver sinkers, wiggle worms, my floating frogs, my line.
My shiny spinner lures, my bobbers, hooks—there’re 29.
The shelf is on a hinge—it hides my secret space below.
It’s where I keep my special treasures out of sight—OH NO!
. . . Where’s my compass?
Where’s my map?
Where’s my lucky fishing cap?
Where’s my stringer?
This princess doll does not belong!
. . . What is this?
A polka-dotted circus clown?
A tiny bottle of perfume?
I smell Lucy in my room!
FISHING FOR PRETEND
Dramatic Poem for One, Quatrains
Oh, Sam—you’re here. Come on, let’s play!
I’m fishing for pretend tonight.
It’s fun to use your gear this way.
Hold on, I think I have a bite.
Your map’s a paper fishing boat.
Your compass is the steering wheel.
I think our boat could really float.
It would be fun to fish for real.
Your stringer makes a tiny lake.
I didn’t crumple up your map.
Your compass works—it didn’t break.
I sure do like your fishing cap.
I didn’t snoop—I made a trade.
Stay here, sit down, don’t go away.
Don’t you like the boat I made?
Your fishing stuff is fun—come play!
Posted June 30, 2013
Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse by Tamera Will Wissinger, illustrated by Matthew Cordell
Houghton Mifflin, 2013
Novel in Verse: Humorous/Realistic
Recommended for grades 2-5
What a great mentor text this is for poetry writing! I am feeling wheels turning around how to use this as a mentor text throughout the year. Students could try a hand at all the various poetic forms (ballad, couplet, double dactyl), try incorporating new poetic techniques (assonance, metaphor and refrain), while learning poetic terms (rhyme, rhythm) and having fun!
You will love this book, a sure addition to the classroom library!