Cover image for Fishing in the air
Fishing in the air
Creech, Sharon.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollinsPublishers, 2000.
Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
A young boy and his father go on a fishing trip and discover the power of imagination.
General Note:
"Joanna Cotler books."
Reading Level:
AD 570 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.4 0.5 43015.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.1 2 Quiz: 22843 Guided reading level: N.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



We were going on a
journey, to a secret place.
We'd catch the air!
We'd catch the breeze!

A father and son set out early one morning in search of a cool, clear river in which to fish. With their lines and bobbers, they cast high into the air catching memories, discoveries, and

a bubble of breeze
and a sliver of sky
and a slice of yellow sun.

The first picture book by Sharon Creech, Newbery award-winning author of Walk Two Moons, is a lyrical portrait of the bond between a father and son. Caldecott Honor recipient Chris Raschka's illustrations shimmer in pools of color and light, making Fishing in the Air a beautiful reminder of the gift of imagination a parent passes on to a child -- and a child gladly shares in return.

AWARDS: Best Children's Books 2000 (PW) and Lasting Connections 2001 (Book Links)

Author Notes

Sharon Creech was on born July 29, 1945 in South Euclid, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. She was in college when she took literature and writing courses and became intrigued by story-telling. Later, she was a teacher (high school English and writing) in England and in Switzerland.

Her novel Walk Two Moons received in 1995 Newbery Medal; The Wanderer was a 2001 Newbery Honor book and Ruby Holler received the 2002 Carnegie Medal. In 2007, Heartbeat was a finalist in the Junior Division (4th to 6th grades) of the Young Reader's Choice Awards, sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Library Association. She has written over 15 fiction novels for young readers.

She is married to Lyle Rigg, who is the headmaster of The Pennington School in Pennington, New Jersey, and have two grown children, Rob and Karin.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-8. A delirious verbal build-up ala "This is the house that Jack built" is matched by the calligraphic exuberance of images inspired by Chagall and Picasso. A boy and his father go fishing, a journey to a "secret place" to "catch the air . . . and catch the breeze!" When Dad notes that the streetlights look like moons and the trees like green soldiers, they metamorphose in the pictures. As father and son cast their lines, the child asks about the house his father lived in when he was a boy. Then the images pile one upon another: the house with a red roof, the green fields, and the clear river, as the boy casts his line to pull in a sliver of sky, a slice of sun, a bubble of breeze. The illustrations grow as wild and lush as the words, building a memory palace for father and son. Going home, the parent and child truly catch the air, the breeze, and all of the father's memories: "And we caught a father, / and we caught a boy, / who learned to fish." Intimate and imaginative, as one would expect from a talented author and illustrator. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

Publisher's Weekly Review

In an inspired pairing, Creech and Raschka combine their considerable talents for the poignant exploration of the ties that bind one generation to another. Creech (The Wanderer) sets the stage for a father-son fishing expedition that's about much more than catching supper. As the two start out in the "blue-black" early morning, the father tells his son, "We'll catch the air! We'll catch the breeze!" The father fires his son's fancy, pointing out street lamps like "tiny moons" and trees like "tall green soldiers standing at attention"; Raschka (Yo! Yes?) subtly traces their transformation across neat horizontal rows. When the pair reaches the river, the man drops his line into the water at the top left-hand corner of the spread while the boy casts his line into the air from the bottom right-hand corner of the spread. The father then enters a reverie, recounting memories of his childhood home to his son, in a narrative that winds as gracefully and smoothly as the river itself; in a cumulative echo, the son prompts him to fill in more details. Raschka gradually incorporates each new detail in his illustrations until the reverie overtakes the page; the two characters, once upright, now seem to float like Chagall figures across the spreads, or somersault down the sides-always remaining separate yet answering each other visually as much as verbally. This gradual building up of narrative and illustrative brush strokes erupts in a glorious climax, in which the father expresses his nostalgia for that lost time ("Oh, where is that house?? And where are those fields and that river and that father and that boy?"), and the boy and the father now reach for each other, the father having caught his son's line (the little boy having answered, "Right here"). Creech's narrative is more poetry than prose; her quicksilver description and quietly repetitive phrases serve to deepen the growing connection between father and son, and her images are made for Raschka's brush. Author and artist evoke an idyllic outing between parent and child and demonstrate that while they may return empty-handed, their hearts are full. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-A father and son go fishing to "catch the air" and to "catch the breeze" and readers see some of the many threads that connect the generations in this poetic story. As they drive through the dark city into the bright country morning, the man's words and Raschka's pictures lead the boy and readers to see everyday objects differently and to imagine the past. Streetlamps become moons and trees become soldiers. The father describes his boyhood home and explains that his father took him fishing. When the father muses about what happened to the boy he had been and the father he had, his son replies that they are "right here" and readers will feel that it is true and will continue to be true through the generations. As the text builds images, Raschka's exuberant, Chagallesque illustrations seem to float in color-splashed circles around it on some pages, reinforcing the cyclical theme. Later, they form a figure eight connecting the father and son, and on the final page they form a valentine surrounding and "catching" the pair. While the text and images are evocative and memorable, this book is likely to have more appeal to adults than to concrete-minded youngsters. Fanciful conceits such as catching "a slice of yellow sun" and a "white white cloud" may be more confusing than meaningful to a young audience. Still, it is a moving celebration of a father-and-son relationship. Encourage children to compare and contrast it with Jane Yolen's Owl Moon (Philomel, 1987) for an interesting early-grade literature lesson.-Louise L. Sherman, formerly at Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.