Hooked (Tommy Greenwald)

Hello friends and Happy Father’s Day! Our review today is Hooked, written by Tommy Greenwald and illustrated by David McPhail, a fishing story of father and son.

To Joe, there’s no better way to spend a day than a fishing trip. He enjoys the peaceful quiet and being alone with his imagination. More than anything, Joe wants his dad to join him, but his dad always says no, protesting that it’s boring (and he doesn’t like worms). So Joe joins the town fishing group instead, and is excited to hear of the upcoming ice fishing trip – until the group leader says that he must be accompanied by an adult. Joe asks his father to join him, who agrees on one condition: he never has to go fishing with Joe again. But when the pair head out to the lake, Joe’s dad may find that fishing isn’t just about what you catch, but who you spend the day with.

I have mixed feelings on this one. On one hand, it ends up being a sweet story, where Joe’s father learns to appreciate fishing as time spent together, and Joe can finally share his hobby. The illustrations are darling, with a nostalgic storybook style. But honestly, I can’t get over what a jerk Joe’s dad at first! Yes, he eventually realizes his error, but the responses he gives to his son wanting to spend time with him – and the way the illustrations show how clearly heartbroken Joe is by them – are upsetting as a parent, and could be upsetting to young readers as well. It’s a judgement call for those who want to share this with their own little bookworms, but it quite frankly turned me off. Otherwise, the length was fine, and JJ enjoyed the illustrations. But overall, this is one we’ll throw back.

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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