Hand Over Handby Alma Fullerton, Renné Benoit (Illustrations)

Expected publication: April 4th 2017 by Second Story Press

4.5 Stars

Synopsis: Nina can’t convince her Lolo to take her fishing on the old banca boat with him. Lolo’s reply is the same as always: “A boat is no place for a girl.” When Nina promises to bait her own hook and remove her own catch, her grandfather finally relents, “just for today.” Much to the amusement of the other fishermen in their Filipino village, Lolo shows Nina how to jig the lines, set the hook and pull in a fish hand over hand. But no one is laughing when Nina brings in the biggest fish of the day!

My Review: This is a wonderful little book packed with so much within its short story. You have empowerment for girls, equality, giving someone a chance to prove themselves, multi-cultural, inter-generational along with pure enjoyment.

Nina is a young Filipino girl who wants to go fishing on the banco boat with her Lolo (grandfather). She is told that it is no place for a girl. She continues to ask and tells him she will bait her own hook, and bring in her own catch and he finally relents. Everyone laughs at them and tells him that a girl does not belong on a banco boat, but off they go. He patiently teaches her how to paddle, bait her hook, and bring in the line “hand over hand”. She waits and waits as Lolo fills the buckets with fish and she gets nothing on her line until …….

The illustrations are wonderful. They are colourful, simple watercolours that do a wonderful job showing their expressions as well as the scenery. The warmth between Nina and Lolo is quite evident. A great book for family libraries as well as schools, classrooms and public libraries. The publisher generously provided me a copy of this book via Netgalley.