Thursday, July 4, 2013

Gone Fishing: a novel in verse by Tamera Will Wissinger

Illustrated by Matthew Cordell. 120 p. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, March, 2013. 9780547829118. (Purchased)

Sam just loves to fish. He and his dad have a sacred fishing routine and he is so looking forward to going fishing the next day. Just Sam and Dad, Dad and Sam. Then, he discovers that his tackle box has been invaded by a princess doll, a throne, a clown and a bottle of perfume. Lucy!

Sam finds Lucy wearing his lucky fishing cap and riding a boat fashioned out of his fishing maps and steering with his compass. She was fair; she made a trade.

Sam is not amused. 

Unfortunately, the next day, he finds that his dad is rather difficult to get out of bed, but Lucy is up and raring to go. Uh-oh. 

This delightful story of fishing and sibling rivalry is told through a variety of poetic forms and link together in a blank verse novel sure to please the upper elementary crowd, and their language arts teachers as well. Matthew Cordell's whimsical black, white and grey line art perfectly captures Sam's growing dismay and Lucy's blissful exuberance.

But wait, there's more! Not only does the poet helpfully notate the type of poem under each title, but a "Poet's Tackle Box" is provided at the end in which, Ms. Will Wissinger helpfully explains poetic terms like rhyme and rhythm, and techniques like alliteration and assonance and imagery and simile, as well as poetic forms like ballad and cinquain. This is sure to thrill the LA teachers in my building as our school participates in an annual poetry festival and all students are expected to submit at least one poem for consideration to represent their grade level in a culminating, valley-wide celebration. 

I was very sad not to be able to make Matthew Cordell's signing of this book at ALA Annual and not just because he promised to draw a quick sketch for everyone on line, but because I'm a fan of his work and wanted to meet him in person. On Monday, I happened by the Houghton Mifflin booth and spied a stack of the books for sale. Score! Then I learned that the author was there to sign! Double score! Then I discovered that the batch had also been signed by M.C. Yes!
I'm donating this to my school's library.

Do check this one out. I'm sure I will be purchasing a few more copies as the LA teachers discover it.

Click here for Tamera Will Wissinger's website and here for Matthew Cordell's website.

Other blog reviews:
100 Scope Notes

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