- Gone Camping: A Novel in Verse by Tamera Will Wissinger
ISBN 978-0-544-63873-0 $15.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 2-4
Siblings Sam and Lucy had their first poetic adventure in Gone Fishing (BCCB 5/13), and now, with Lucy a bit older and not so pesty, they are looking forward to a trip to the woods with their parents. Dad’s sick, though, so Grandpa takes his place while Mom stays home to tend the invalid, leaving the brother and sister understandably skeptical: “I don’t think Grandpa’s ever fished, canoed, or camped before./ He putters, owns a radio, and rarely goes outdoors.” Lucy is particularly troubled since she’s afraid of the dark and the critters that lurk in it. Of course everything’s fine in the end, from the mesmerizing campfire (captured in haiku) and the beanie weenie stew (a chant based on the witches’ incantation from Macbeth), to the night noises that become comfortingly familiar (a serenade) and the mad rush to cannonball into the lake (a concrete poem). This isn’t as tightly plotted as Gone Fishing, but as an entertaining curricular aid for poetry units, it’s another gold mine, with alphabetized sections of end matter on poetry techniques and forms that reference Wissinger’s poems. Cordell’s black and white line and wash [End Page 288] illustrations are goofy and exuberant, making the most of the trio’s exaggerated facial expressions and body language as they take on the Great Outdoors. With a parting list of a half-dozen children’s books on writing poetry, this is a strong selection for school libraries.