That’s Papa’s Way

Illustrated by Lauren Castillo Published April 2009

A father and his little girl set out early one morning to go fishing. The girl watches her father closely, noticing how he plucks the worms from the soil with his bare hands, not with a trowel as she does. How he casts his fishing line far out into the lake, while she drops hers over the side of the boat. How patient he is waiting for the fish to bite, while she is restless. His way does not match hers, but that’s just fine. In the end she gives Papa an affectionate pat on the back when he catches a fish, just as he patted her back earlier when she caught one.

The happy spirit of this father-daughter outing is fully captured in comforting earth-toned illustrations.

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Small sensory details evoke the lake-house setting, from the sound of twigs snapping underfoot to the feel of the wind pushing the boat. But it’s the quiet, understated love between a parent and child that kids will connect with most. As in Emily Jenkins’ What Happens on Wednesdays (2007), Castillo’s winning artwork, rendered in thick charcoal lines and textured layers of paint, finds realistic, reassuring tenderness in a family’s everyday activities. –Gillian Engberg