Author: Swanson, Matthew
Each summer, a young girl and her family travel to remote Egegik, Alaska, where they join a salmon fishing crew.
Kirkus Reviews (05/01/20)
School Library Journal (06/01/20)
Booklist (+) (02/01/21)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/03/21)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 06/01/2020 Gr 1–2—This husband-and-wife team tell a tale based on their family's experiences visiting Alaska. Each year their family of six flies 4,000 miles from their home to go salmon fishing. At last, the unnamed daughter is old enough to join the crew and not simply sit on the sidelines watching them do their work. It's a hard, messy business in windy, wet weather but the girl is excited to be part of the operation. Upon arrival, the family repairs their cabin, outhouse, and fishing nets in readiness for the season to get underway. Detailed and vibrant illustrations are crafted with pen, ink, gouache, and digital collage. The images come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes and show the family keeping busy until the radio announcer states: "The salmon are coming." Then the hard work really begins, and readers are shown an almost step-by-step sequence of events that are necessary for netting the sockeye salmon. Four pages at the end of the book give more information on the annual family trek. VERDICT This is engaging tale about a summer vacation that is far from ordinary.—Maryann H. Owen, Oak Creek P.L. WI - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/01/2021 *Starred Review* The girl narrating this lovely picture book begins by showing how her family’s summer vacation differs from the average kid’s trip to the beach. Instead of swimsuits, they have rubber waders and woolly hats, and the beach is strewn with pebbles and jellyfish rather than sand. That’s because her family goes to Alaska to fish for salmon each summer—but this year is special because the girl gets to join the fishing crew for the first time. Behr’s mixed-media illustrations (a combination of pen, ink, gouache, and digitally sampled watercolor washes) are alive with saturated colors, the family’s activities, and unexpected layouts. The girl describes their preparations, how they listen to the daily fish report, and how, when the tides are finally right, they get up in the early hours of the morning to set their fishing nets. Her eagerness and pride over being part of this work is palpable, and each moment feels important, locked in Behr’s artwork as an individual frame among many or as a sweeping two-page spread that captures its magnitude and beauty. The excellent back matter reveals that this story is about the creators’ own family, laying out their history as commercial salmon fishers, protections in place to prevent overfishing, and how some Alaska Natives continue to catch salmon according to their traditions. Eye-opening and awesome. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.