Join nine-year-old Catfish Sam as he captures a day of adventure in his net—and in verse — in this unique middle grade novel told through poems and comic illustrations.
Dad and I hunt worms tonight.
Tiptoe near and grab them quick.
Tug-o-war with earth and worm.
Set our bucket near the door.
Look out, fish — we’re on our way!
JUST DAD AND ME
Free Verse Poem
For fishing tomorrow
it’s just us two.
Not Mom, not Grandpa,
It’ll be like playing catch or
painting the garage.
Just Dad and me.
MY TACKLE BOX
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 tiny click and 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?
This princess doll does not belong!
. . . What is this?
A polka-dotted circus clown?
A tiny bottle of perfume?
I smell Lucy in my room!
FISHING FOR PRETEND
Dramatic 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!
"Just the thing for readers with a burgeoning interest in poetry—or angling."
"A playful verse narrative of the joys and perils of a family fishing trip. . . . This tender, well-crafted sibling story should hook many readers."
"Engaging verse that's just the right depth and length for chapter-book readers. . . A solid, entertaining story to hook children on poetry."
"All of Sam's episodes take the form of poems, each discreetly labeled by its poetic form, which is then defined at the end of the book. . . most will enjoy the notion that there are as many ways to tell a tale as to catch a fish."
"This novel in verse successfully builds a story filled with anticipation, family humor, and sibling rivalry. . . . Wissinger deftly plies her craft to ensure that the use of poetry enhances the readability of the story"
—School Library Journal, starred review
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