How to Catch a Fish

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A FISHING TRIP AROUND THE WORLD Thirteen linked verses and handsome, mood-drenched paintings show how we catch fish—from New England to the Arctic, to Japan and Namibia and beyond. This lovely picture book—about fishing, geography, people and customs, and the bond between parent and child fishing together—will appeal to everyone who's cast a line in the water.

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Overview

A FISHING TRIP AROUND THE WORLD Thirteen linked verses and handsome, mood-drenched paintings show how we catch fish—from New England to the Arctic, to Japan and Namibia and beyond. This lovely picture book—about fishing, geography, people and customs, and the bond between parent and child fishing together—will appeal to everyone who's cast a line in the water.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Kirkus Reviews There definitely isn’t just one way, as Frank and Sylvada demonstrate in deft poetry and impressionistic scenes of anglers worldwide. The text, which can be read as either one long poem or a series of untitled short ones, creates a harmonious rhythm with subtle shifts of beat and occasional rhyming: “Propelled by currents swift and strong, / our fishwheel rotates round and round, / its soft metallic hollow sound / as rhythmic as a beaten drum. . . . ” In the art, indistinct figures—almost invariably an adult and a child together—cast lures, flies or nets, stand in boats or drop lines off a dock, check for likely spots or proudly display catches. Along with glimpses of ice fishers on Baffin Island, snorklers in New Caledonia, seine fishers in Tobago, cormorant tenders in Japan and more, sensitive young readers will catch a feeling here for the universal ties between parent and child that rise from any shared activity. (Picture book. 6-8)
Publishers Weekly

Frank (The Tomb of the Boy King) and Sylvada (Yatandou, reviewed below) travel the globe to celebrate fishing, and the resultant pairing of Turner-esque seascapes and tight, lyric language promises to both intrigue and challenge readers. Describing deep-sea fishing in Kona, Hawaii, for example, Frank writes, "We strap on steady harnesses/ and brace ourselves in bolted chairs/ to angle for a fish whose size/ can dwarf gigantic grizzly bears:/ blue marlin"; in Sylvada's painting, the blue marlin rears up over the water, towering over the fisherman in the moment before it begins to thrash. Elsewhere the author and artist take in ice-fishing in the Arctic, cormorant fishing in Japan, logboat fishing in Namibia. Reverent, intelligent verses smoothly juxtapose metaphor ("rags of morning mist" and "turns as patient as a watch's second hand") with localized fishing jargon ("spinnerbait," "fishwheel," "slack our reels"); various rhyme schemes subtly govern the rhythms. Watery oblique, vertical and horizontal lines converge and edges blur in these dynamic, sensual oil paintings that emphasize the power, motion and mystery of the sea. Muted figures of men, women and children lean alone, in pairs or in groups over variable waters. Rendered in gradations of warm colors applied with thick strokes, the paintings highlight the allure of fishing and the patience required for this humbling activity shared across cultures. Even those who have never held a fishing pole could easily be hooked. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

Gr 1-4 This book pairs 13 rhythmic poems with glowing oil paintings to portray different methods of fishing in various locales around the world. On each spread, descriptive verses, narrated in first person, focus on a specific region, type of fishing, and species. For example, deep-sea fishing for blue marlin in Hawaii is depicted: "We strap our sturdy harnesses/and brace ourselves in bolted chairs/to angle for a fish whose size/can dwarf gigantic grizzly bears." Other pages introduce fly-fishing in Ireland, logboat fishing (with bow and arrow) in Namibia, spearfishing in the southwest Pacific, and more. One offering describes how Japanese fishermen put a metal ring around a cormorant's neck, allow it to catch a fish too big to swallow, and then collect the prey from the bird's mouth. The large illustrations are done in browns and reds. Oddly, there's not a blue or green to be found in these nautical scenes. The people are not finely depicted, but appear almost as shadows in the seascapes. While it's clear that both the author and illustrator have a great love for this pursuit, this book will have a very limited audience.-Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI

Kirkus Reviews
There definitely isn't just one way, as Frank and Sylvada demonstrate in deft poetry and impressionistic scenes of anglers worldwide. The text, which can be read as either one long poem or a series of untitled short ones, creates a harmonious rhythm with subtle shifts of beat and occasional rhyming: "Propelled by currents swift and strong, / our fishwheel rotates round and round, / its soft metallic hollow sound / as rhythmic as a beaten drum. . . . " In the art, indistinct figures-almost invariably an adult and a child together-cast lures, flies or nets, stand in boats or drop lines off a dock, check for likely spots or proudly display catches. Along with glimpses of ice fishers on Baffin Island, snorklers in New Caledonia, seine fishers in Tobago, cormorant tenders in Japan and more, sensitive young readers will catch a feeling here for the universal ties between parent and child that rise from any shared activity. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596431638
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.51 (w) x 8.34 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

John Frank is the author of several children's books, including The Tomb of the Boy King, and The Toughest Cowboy: Or How the Wild West Was Tamed, a Bulletin Blue Ribbon winner. He lives in Redmond, Washington. Peter Sylvada illustrates, creates fine art, and fishes. His first of several picture books, A Symphony of Whales, was among other honors, a Christopher Medal Award winner and a New York Times Best Illustrated Book.

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