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Gone Fishing: A novel

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Overview

For fishing tomorrow

it’s just us two.

Not Mom, not Grandpa,

...

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Gone Fishing: A novel

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Overview

For fishing tomorrow

it’s just us two.

Not Mom, not Grandpa,

                                         not Lucy.

It’ll be like playing catch or

Painting the garage.

Just Dad and Me.

Fishing.

 

Using a wide variety of poetic forms – quatrains, ballads, iambic meter, rhyming lists, concrete poetry, tercets and free verse –this debut author tells the story of a nine-year-old boy’s day of fishing. Sibling rivalry, the bond between father and son, the excitement – and difficulty -- of fishing all add up to a day of adventure any child would want to experience.

 

Matthew Cordell illuminates this novel-in-verse throughout with his energetic black-and-white line drawings.

 

While each poem can be read and enjoyed on its own, the poems work together to create a story arc with conflict, crisis, resolution and character growth.

 

The back matter of this book equips the reader with a Poet's Tackle Box of tools and definitions for understanding the various poetic forms the author uses in this story.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Newcomer Wissinger offers a collection of more than 40 poems, which join to form a novel in verse about a family’s fishing trip. Sam is initially distraught when his sister, Lucy, worms her way into his fishing trip with his father; as the day progresses, though, sibling rivalry turns to appreciation, especially after Sam catches a giant catfish (“I’m catfish strong!/ I caught that lunker. Yee-haw! Wham!”). Wissinger uses a variety of poetic forms and techniques, all of which are defined in a substantial glossary. Just the thing for readers with a burgeoning interest in poetry—or angling. Ages 6–9. Illustrator’s agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Mar.)
From the Publisher

"Just the thing for readers with a burgeoning interest in poetry—or angling."
Publishers Weekly

"A playful verse narrative of the joys and perils of a family fishing trip. . . . This tender, well-crafted sibling story should hook many readers."
Kirkus

"Engaging verse that's just the right depth and length for chapter-book readers. . . A solid, entertaining story to hook children on poetry."
Booklist

"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."
Bulletin

"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

Children's Literature - Shirley Nelson
Sam is super excited to go fishing with his dad, especially since it will be just the two of them. However, his younger sister, Lucy, manages to join in on the trip. Sam does not think she deserves to go, especially after using his tackle box as a bed for her princess doll, but Dad insists that she come along. When they arrive at the lake, Lucy begins singing to the fish, prompting Sam to tell her to be quiet. He is further displeased when Lucy catches the first fish. The day continues in this manner, but Sam begins to appreciate his sister, transforming the trip into a special family event. Told in a series of poems in the voices of Sam, Lucy, and Dad, this short novel is a lighthearted look at sibling rivalry. Each poem is labeled as to its type, introducing the young reader to ballads, odes, cinquains, and less familiar types such as double dactyls and rondelets. A glossary at the end of the book provides a thorough explanation of poetry terms and types. Cordell's whimsical black and white illustrations are a perfect accompaniment to the poems. Not only is this a fun book to read, it will also provide an excellent introduction to poetry. Reviewer: Shirley Nelson
School Library Journal
Gr 1–4—This novel in verse successfully builds a story filled with anticipation, family humor, and sibling rivalry. Wissinger adroitly uses a variety of poetic forms to express nine-year-old Sam's excitement about an upcoming outing with his father: "Hip-hip, hooray!/It's fishing day./Yo-ho yippee!/Just Dad and me." To Sam's consternation, his annoying little sister decides that she wants to go, too. She packs for the trip by filling Sam's tackle box with her toys. "Where's my stringer?/Something's wrong!/The princess doll does not belong!" Sam is even more despondent when her singing helps her catch a handful of fish even before he has caught one. The trip vastly improves when he lands a sizable catfish, leading Lucy to gush with pride for him. "You caught one Sam!/Lucy scoots close to me./A big one, too!/I didn't even look/when she caught/her first fish./But she cheered for me/Maybe I was wrong/about bringing her along." Teachers will appreciate the seamless introduction to different poetic forms including rhyming lists, concrete poems, ballads, and haiku. Wissinger deftly plies her craft to ensure that the use of poetry enhances the readability of the story. She includes a "Poet's Tackle Box" to complete this solid introduction to poetic form. Cordell's whimsical line drawings complement the poetry by capturing the adventurous spirit and humor that this story demands. Hearing it aloud, children will appreciate the rollicking tale and the lyrical verse, while young readers will be able to enjoy the book independently. This book might inspire some to pursue an interest in fishing, but it will surely encourage all of them to delve into the world of poetry.—Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY
Kirkus Reviews
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547820118
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/5/2013
  • Pages: 120
  • Sales rank: 153,058
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: NPL (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Tamera Wissinger was inspired to write this novel-in-verse after writing "Night Crawlers," a poem that stemmed from her fun childhood memories of night crawler hunting with her dad before fishing trips. A graduate of Hamline University’s MFA Writing for Children program, Tamera Wissinger shares her time between Chicago and Florida. This is her first book.

Mattthew Cordell and his brother Eric were all-around best buds. They grew up in a small town in South Carolina, where his family would often take fishing trips together. Matthew lives in Illinois with his family. He is the illustrator of Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg and Justin Case by Rachel Vail.

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Read an Excerpt

Sam

NIGHT CRAWLERS

Tercet Variation

Dark night.

Flashlight.

Dad and I hunt worms tonight.

Grass slick.

Worms thick.

Tiptoe near and grab them quick.

Hold firm.

They squirm.

Tug-o-war with earth and worm.

Ninety-four.

Worms galore.

Set our bucket near the door.

Next day.

No delay.

Look out, fish — we’re on our way!

 

Sam

JUST DAD AND ME

Free Verse Poem

For fishing tomorrow

it’s just us two.

Not Mom, not Grandpa,

not Lucy.

It’ll be like playing catch or

painting the garage.

Just Dad and me.

Fishing.

Sam

MY TACKLE BOX

Switcheroo Poem

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?

Something’s wrong!

This princess doll does not belong!

. . . What is this?

A throne?

A crown?

A polka-dotted circus clown?

A tiny bottle of perfume?

 

I smell Lucy in my room!

Lucy

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!

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2014

    Amazing

    Never read this book but by the short summery of it,it sounds reall good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2013

    Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse by Tamera Will Wissinger, illustr

    Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse by Tamera Will Wissinger, illustrated by Matthew Cordell
    Houghton Mifflin, 2013
    Novel in Verse: Humorous/Realistic
    120 pages
    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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