cover image Hooked


Tommy Greenwald, illus. by David McPhail. Roaring Brook, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59643-996-2

Joe loves to fish, even though he has had no luck catching “the big one.” He wouldn’t mind company, but his father flatly refuses. “I like more action,” he tells his son, sitting in an armchair reading the newspaper. Joe finds camaraderie in a fishing club, but he’s dismayed to learn that an upcoming ice-fishing expedition requires children to have a parent chaperone. Reluctantly, his father agrees to accompany him on the condition “that I never have to do it again.” Before long, Joe’s father starts to enjoy himself, and Joe’s only catch—a waterlogged stuffed elephant—seems destined to become part of his family’s lore (Joe’s father insists they bring the toy home, where it gets a spin in the washer and dryer). Greenwald (the Charlie Joe Jackson series) spins a bittersweet story that recognizes that not every parent is the up-for-anything, emotionally available type. McPhail’s delicate, homespun pictures exude a solitude that matches Joe’s loneliness, though his father doesn’t always look consistent from page to page. Ages 4–6. Author’s agent: Brianne Johnson, Writers House. Illustrator’s agent: Faith Hamlin, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Jan.)