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Gone Fishing : A Novel in Verse by Tamera Will Wissinger, illustrated by Matthew Cordell, 120 pp, RL 2



Gone Fishing: A novel


So, besides the fact that Gone Fishing : A Novel in Verse by Tamera Will Wissinger, with illustrations by the fantastic Matthew Cordellis a wonderful novel told in poems about a boy, his dad and a fishing trip that is almost ruined by his little sister, Wissinger's poems teach various forms of poetry as you read! A the end of the book is The Poet's Tackle Box that begins with a note from the author I am including here because I love the way Wissinger compares writing poetry with catching fish:

Like Sam and his tackle box, poets have a box of tools to help them write poems. Those tools include rhyme, rhythm, poetry techniques, and poetic forms.

In fishing, if one type of bait or approach isn't working, the fisherman or fisherwoman may try something else. This is also true for poets. If you are writing a poem and get stuck, try another form, or try a new topic. (Or take a break. Doing something different for a while may help you get back on track.) Sometimes many poems will appear quickly, as the eight fish do for Lucy. Other times, a poem will appear like Sam's fish - only after you wait and wait. Maybe that poem, like Sam's fish, will be a keeper.


The Poet's Tackle Box covers the poetic forms that Wissinger has used throughout the book. As you can see below, after the title of each poem, the name for the poetic form used is indicated as well as the speaker of the poem - either Sam, Lucy or Dad as well as a Dramatic Poem for Three Voices. I can't think of a better way to introduce the nuts and bolts (bait and tackle?) of poetry to kids than this innovative, engaging book. I have no doubt that you will be amazed to learn just how many different poetic forms there are out there! My favorite discovery is the MENU POEM that comes after a successful day on the lake...

Source: Review Copy

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