Synopses & Reviews
Seven hours pass.
Not one fish.
Has anyone seen a fish?
On the surface, it might seem like ice fishing, with its hours in a tiny shack awaiting an elusive crappie or pike, would not be a great match for kids. However, as scores of grandparents and parents know, this unique northern pastime holds special magic for a child.
One Frozen Lake tells the story of a grandfather and grandchild on several ice-fishing adventures. Ramshackle ice towns sprout up. Ice shack neighbors share piping-hot cocoa and humorous stories. Eye-catching lures and jigs dance at the end of the fishing line. And mysterious, silvery ice tunnels connect the community above with the one below.
Will they ever catch a fish? Perhaps that’s beside the point.
Deborah Jo Larson’s engaging narrative, a celebration of her childhood spent on frozen lakes, comes alive with appealing scenes expertly crafted by award-winning children’s book artists Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher, who create shimmering worlds above and below the ice. One Frozen Lake tells of a tradition being passed from one generation to the next, a tradition that encourages spending unhurried time together sharing winter’s gifts—and creating precious memories that last long after the ice melts.
This is Deborah Jo Larson’s first picture book. Her fiction has appeared in Stories for Children online magazine. Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher have collaborated on over thirty books for children, including Dr. Seuss’s My Many Colored Days and Garrison Keillor’s Cat, You Better Come Home.
"Larson debuts with an atmospheric ode to ice fishing and intergenerational companionship, and she reels in a pair of pros as collaborators: Johnson and Fancher (It's Milking Time) fill their spreads with Woolrich-ready plaids, maps of lakes, lures, and vintage angler-themed advertisements, creating a setting that's both playful and attentive to the details of the sport. Larson's story follows a freckled boy and his grandfather as they set up their fishing site, drill holes in the ice, and wait. The unrhymed verse is suggestive of a counting book ('One frozen lake./ Two fishing friends./ Three bundles packed with/ Line, lures, and snacks'), but rather than building straight up to 10, Larson restarts the count three times ('One frozen lake./ One canvas shack'), making readers wait patiently (just like fishermen must) for the moment when the boy finally snags 'A fish!/ Ten inches!/ A keeper!/ Yeah!' Even then, the story isn't quite over, and readers will come to recognize that a day spent in good company is more important than whether one's fishing bucket is full on the way home. Ages 3 7. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Grandpa introduces grandchild to the art of ice fishing—sharing a cozy ice shack, sorting colorful tackle, and finding ways to pass the time. But where are the fish? Will they ever catch a fish?