My husband really likes to fish, and has passed that love down to my sons. At first, it was just my oldest who loved it, but now my second son also loves it, probably since as a new four year old, he can do more of it.
During a week up at my in-laws cottage in Georgian Bay this summer, about two days after his birthday, it was precisely my four year old who caught the largest fish in recent family memory. To be specific, he snagged a small mouth bass which we took the time to measure: 18.5 inches long and weighing four pounds. It fed five adults, plus leftovers.
I took a lot of photos of the occasion. When we got home, I uploaded them all into the computer and deleted them from my camera. Then I turned to my computer (which was apparently in the process of dying) to discover it had eaten all of the photos too. In other words, every single one of the thousand photos I took was gone. Did I mention that every single one of the thousand photos I took was gone? Mm-hm.
While it’s true that I wanted to light myself on fire for awhile after this wretched episode, I take it as a testament of my immense personal growth that I have decided not to impale myself over it. Instead, I’ve decided to highlight some lovely children’s books on fishing, in case your little people are enamoured with hook and line.
A simple story about a boy who searches for what he needs for a good day’s fishing. My kids were riveted by the story, which I find a little flat, although I liked that the author used specific vocabulary for lures and other gear in a children’s book. There’s also a thorough glossary, which takes forever to read, but which my older son can’t get enough of. But the real wonder of the book is its watercolour illustrations, which are stunning – it’s wonderful just for these.
That’s Papa’s Way by Kate Banks
A lovely story about a girl and her father spending the day fishing. His gentle ways of doing things are contrasted to her child-like ways of doing things, and the warmth between them is mostly understated and yet palpable. It’s also nice (and somewhat unusual as far as I can tell) to find the fishing experience shared with a daughter.
The Little Fish that Got Away by Bernadette Cook (illustrated by Crockett Johnson)
Our favourite. It features “a little boy who liked fishing” even though he “never, no never” catches anything, and the day his luck changed. The deceptively simple illustrations are as charming as the story, and the rhythms and repetitions are especially nice for my four-year old. The little book champions the little boy and the little fish that got away, and any little person who knows what it’s like to face unlikely odds (ie. all little people) and overcome them is going to love this book. It’s a pleasure to read this book every single time, and I have read it a lot of times.
Do you have a book on fishing that you’d recommend? If so, please do tell. They are in high demand in these parts.