Gone Fishing

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-03-05
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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For fishing tomorrow it's just us two. Not Mom, not Grandpa, not Lucy. It'll be like playing catch or Painting the garage. Just Dad and Me. Fishing. Using a wide variety of poetic forms quatrains, ballads, iambic meter, rhyming lists, concrete poetry, tercets and free verse this debut author tells the story of a nine-year-old boy's day of fishing. Sibling rivalry, the bond between father and son, the excitement and difficulty -- of fishing all add up to a day of adventure any child would want to experience. Matthew Cordell illuminates this novel-in-verse throughout with his energetic black-and-white line drawings. While each poem can be read and enjoyed on its own, the poems work together to create a story arc with conflict, crisis, resolution and character growth. The back matter of this book equips the reader with a Poet's Tackle Box of tools and definitions for understanding the various poetic forms the author uses in this story.



NIGHT CRAWLERSTercet Variation

 Dark night.Flashlight.Dad and I hunt worms tonight. 

Grass slick.Worms thick.Tiptoe near and grab them quick. Hold firm.They squirm.Tug-o-war with earth and worm. 

Ninety-four.Worms galore.Set our bucket near the door. 

Next day.No delay.Look out, fish — we’re on our way! 


JUST DAD AND MEFree Verse Poem


For fishing tomorrowit’s just us two.Not Mom, not Grandpa,not Lucy. 

It’ll be like playing catch orpainting the garage.Just Dad and me.Fishing. 


MY TACKLE BOXSwitcheroo Poem


I love my fishing tackle box — it’s green and blue and gold.My grandpa gave it to me when I wasn’t very old. I need to get it ready for tomorrow at the lake.We’re leaving in the morning just as soon as we’re awake. 

One tinyclickand now my treasure chest is open wide.A shelf with lots of little spaces holds my gear inside. 

My silver sinkers, wiggle worms, my floating frogs, my line.My shiny spinner lures, my bobbers, hooks—there’re 29. 

The shelf is on a hinge—it hides my secret space below.It’s where I keep my special treasures out of sight—OH NO! 

. . . Where’s my compass?Where’s my map?Where’s my lucky fishing cap? 

Where’s my stringer?Something’s wrong! 

Thisprincess dolldoes not belong! 

. . . What is this?A throne?A crown?A polka-dotted circus clown?A tiny bottle ofperfume? 

I smellLucyin my room! 


FISHING FOR PRETENDDramatic Poem for One, Quatrains


Oh, Sam—you’re here. Come on, let’s play!I’m fishing for pretend tonight.It’s fun to use your gear this way.Hold on, I think I have a bite. 

Your map’s a paper fishing boat.Your compass is the steering wheel.I think our boat could really float.It would be fun to fish for real. 

Your stringer makes a tiny lake.I didn’t crumple up your map.Your compass works—it didn’t break.I sure do like your fishing cap. 

I didn’t snoop—I made a trade.Stay here, sit down, don’t go away.Don’t you like the boat I made?Your fishing stuff is fun—come play!

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