And then there are books that are brand-new that you didn't miss -- but you wish you could send back in time to the you that would have not only LOVED it, but would have been shaped a bit by it.
That's the thought that struck me when I picked up Tamera Will Wissinger's delightfully funny debut novel-in-verse GONE FISHING. Why couldn't I zap this book back to 1979 -- to nine-year-old me?
In Wissinger's novel, nine-year-old Sam is looking forward to a day out on the water fishing with his dad ... but then ... NO! His cuter-than-cute little sister weasels her way into the trip and onto the boat!
Nine-year-old me loved fishing -- but never, ever got to go alone with just my dad. Nope. There was always an older brother - or a younger brother - or a cousin - or someone in the boat too. Nine-year-old me would have completely understood nine-year-old Sam's desire to go fishing without Lucy in tow. And nine-year-old me would have related to the feelings Sam has when Lucy turns out to be a beginner's-luck-lucky fisher-woman! How unfair! Wissinger handles the sibling rivalry with wit and humor.
So, while nine-year-old me would have loved the story ... there is more to this book than simply a wonderful story -- this book is told in verse. We're talking: quatrains, ballads, iambic meter, rhyming lists, concrete poetry, tercets and free verse. Seriously fun poetry! Who doesn't love a good concrete poem, I ask you? My nine-year-old self spent many a day trying to figure out how to shape words into a poem that made sense and LOOKED like something. Wissinger's concrete poems look exactly like they should. Plus, as an added bonus -- the poems are labeled so the reader knows what type of poem it is -- and the back matter instructs readers and budding poets how to make their own poems.
As if the book itself wasn't wonderful enough -- did I mention the artwork by the talented Matthew Cordell? The illustrations are fully of whimsy and joy -- and match the verse perfectly.
So, while I try to perfect a book-transporting time machine -- why don't you find a copy of GONE FISHING to read with someone you love (that includes just reading it to yourself!). The book is available starting March 5 from fine booksellers everywhere, Amazon (including Kindle soon), Barnes & Nobel, or your favorite bookseller. 5 out of 5 Smiles.