cover image Deep River

Deep River

Molly Moore, Elaine Moore. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, $15 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-671-87278-6

Young Jess's first fly-fishing trip with Grandpa is the heart of this lyrical picture book. Early in the morning, when ``it is like church, cool and quiet,'' Jess and Grandpa set off for the river. Baiting the hook and casting the line take patience and practice, and Jess hopes to live up to the fishing standards set by the rest of the family. After snaring a log and braving the water in a pair of waders, Jess finally gets a bite--and a fish. However, Jess's angling feat is almost anticlimactic, taking a back seat to Moore's languid descriptive passages and reassuring dialogue. Sorensen's lush, sunlit acrylic paintings set a serene summer-day mood, while his cool blues and leafy greens issue a pleasant invitation to the natural world. Children will enjoy the surprise ending: only then is Jess revealed to be a girl. Ages 4-8. (May)