"Hooked"

They might seem young and inexperienced, but kids sometimes are wiser than we give them credit for. A boy named Joe in “Hooked,” by Tommy Greenwald, is such a lad.

It’s safe to say that fishing is Joe’s favorite pastime. He’s always baiting a hook and hoping for “The Big One,” but Joe would like some company on the banks of streams he frequents – namely his dad.

Forget that. His dad thinks fishing is boring beyond belief – he keeps his nose in the newspaper, telling his son he likes “…more action,” and doesn’t “…like worms.” When the boy’s dad-door closes, tenacious Joe seeks another solution. He joins the community’s fishing club, and “… fished streams, ponds, rivers and brooks.” Sometimes the club members have success, even in puddles.

Joe tried to convince his father he’d have fun if he accompanied the group, but his dad won’t budge until one winter day when the fishing club is going ice fishing, and Joe has to have an adult along to chaperone.

With his back against the wall, Joe’s dad caves, but under one condition, “That I never have to do it again,” he tells Joe.

The experience proves to be a valuable one that draws father and son together in ways Joe’s dad never imagined – proving to be a day of bonding and a big surprise. There’s much to love about this book with a message, adorned with framed illustrations by David McPhail, in soft pastels that pack an emotional punch.

Joe teaches his dad a lesson he won’t forget in a picture book that’s perfect for Father’s Day. Ages 4-8.