cover image We Love Fishing!

We Love Fishing!

Ariel Bernstein, illus. by Marc Rosenthal. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-5344-3864-4

Though pals Bear, Otter, and Porcupine profess the titular love of fishing, Squirrel, contrary to the insistence of Bernstein’s (the Warren & Dragon series) perky narrator, does not: “Fish smell too fishy,” he says, holding his nose, tongue out. But he joins his friends on their bucolic fishing expedition anyway, becoming increasingly cranky—about the walk through the woods to the water (“I stepped on a pebble”), the sheer boredom of sitting in the boat (“I ate all my nuts already. Nuts”), and the sudden rainstorm that Bear finds refreshing (“Rain makes my fur frizz”). When Squirrel lets Bear’s big catch slide back into the water (“It’s so slippery!”), the mood darkens for a moment, but the bonds of friendship are quickly restored—it helps when Squirrel summons a taxi and offers to pick up the dinner tab. Rosenthal (the Small Walt series) slyly sabotages his own sunny drawing style as he portrays the irritation that inevitably arises out of close relationships: Squirrel’s misery is both relatable and funny, and the pals both oblivious and well meaning. Ages 4–8.[em] Author’s agent: Mary Cummings, Betsy Amster Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Feb.) [/em]