Reviews for Gone Fishing : A Novel in Verse


Booklist Reviews 2013 March #2
Sam can't wait to go fishing with his father, until his little sister, Lucy, worms her way into their trip. Told in engaging verse that's just the right depth and length for chapter-book readers, Wissinger's novel artfully captures both the thrill of the catch and the aggravation of younger siblings (especially when they're catching more fish). Loosely drawn black-and-white sketches highlight Sam's moods, including his eventual excitement as he finally manages to reel in the big one. Wissinger identifies each poem format, from haiku, ode, and double dactyl to blues poem, counting poem, and list poem, and even includes poems told in multiple voices. The author extends the fishing metaphor with an appended "Poet's Tackle Box," which explains how rhyme and rhythm work as well as such poetry "bait" as alliteration, hyperbole, and onomatopoeia. She also describes each poem format used and provides a bibliography of additional poetry resources. A solid, entertaining story to hook children on poetry. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Sam is excited for his fishing trip with Dad--until little sister Lucy tags along. Poems in various forms describe the fishing trio's day: preparations, techniques ("Heeere, fishy, fishy, fishy..."), frustrations ("Lucy's winning eight to... / none ), and eventual triumphs. Cordell's buoyant illustrations are a natural fit for the upbeat verse. A "Poet's Tackle Box" section outlines poetic devices and forms. Bib.

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Kirkus Reviews 2013 February #2
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) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 December #4

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.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 July

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

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