Hamline News

New Book from Tamera Will Wissinger, MFAC '09

Gone Camping_375

Gone Camping by Tamera Will Wissinger
Published by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: March 28, 2017
Novel in Verse, 6-9 years, 112 pages
Illustrated by: Matthew Cordell

Order the book: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Author Site: tamerawillwissinger.com


about the book

In a follow-up to the award-winning Gone Fishing (2013), Wissinger and Cordell again present a playful, delightfully illustrated verse narrative for primary graders centered on a family outing for Sam and Lucy. Hiking in the great outdoors, catching fish, watching the stars come out at night—camping is fun. Until it’s time to sleep. Then, Lucy wonders, what kinds of creatures lurk in the dark? With only her brother and grandpa as tent-mates, will Lucy be able to face her camping fears? 

Filled with a variety of poetic forms—from aubade to haiku—as well as exuberant art and helpful writing tips about rhyme and rhythm, this entertaining new novel is packed with family humor and adventure. So grab a flashlight and get settled in to experience the joy of campfires, s’mores, and storytelling! 

Illustrator, Matthew Cordell, has illustrated many picture and chapter books for children, including the picture book Hello Hello. He lives with his wife and their two children outside of Chicago, Illinois. Learn more at www.matthewcordell.com


some of the praise

Wissinger tells the story through short poems written in many different verse forms and identifies each one: Lament, How-To Poem, Limerick, and Concrete Poem. Each type is discussed in the appended “Poetry Techniques” section, followed by a short, useful bibliography for aspiring poets. Deft, natural, and sometimes witty, the writing speeds the story along, aided by Cordell’s cartoonlike line-and-gray-wash illustrations. Just right for young chapter-book readers, here’s an accomplished, upbeat introduction to camping, poetic forms, and verse novels.
--Carolyn Phelan, Booklist

An uplifting tale showing what fun may be had when one summons the courage to head into the woods and off the grid.
--Kirkus Reviews

An entertaining curricular aid for poetry units, it’s another gold mine, with alphabetized sections of end matter on poetry techniques and forms that reference Wissinger’s poems. Cordell’s black and white line and wash illustrations are goofy and exuberant, making the most of the trio’s exaggerated facial expressions and body language as they take on the Great Outdoors. With a parting list of a half-dozen children’s books on writing poetry, this is a strong selection for school libraries.
--Elizabeth Bush, The Bulletin

Wissinger’s clever storytelling in verse unfolds in a series of poems, with each poem being a chapter. Cordell’s gray washed line drawings fill in the details with a flair for the dramatic and oodles of silliness. Rhythm, rhyme, poetry techniques, and how-to books are presented in the appendix, which raises this lively novel in verse to the level of a fun beginner’s guide to poetry. Gone Camping brings poetry to life in this wonderfully wacky outdoor adventure.
--Peggy Tibbetts, Advise from a Caterpillar


about the author

Tamera Will Wissinger (website) is a children's author and poet who grew up in Badger, Iowa. She has been reading and writing stories and poetry since she was young. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Sioux Falls College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and her Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University in 2009.

Tamera thinks she’s very lucky to be able to read and write as part of her job. When she’s not working she might be fishing or boating, watching the interesting wildlife around her neighborhood, or noticing how each day is so beautiful and unique. She also likes to spend time with her family and friends, golf, watch good movies, listen to music, and crochet, (her mom recently taught her how!) 

Tamera lives with her husband in South Florida. She is the author of Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse, Gone Camping: A Novel in Verse, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers), This Old Band, and There Was an Old Lady Who Gobbled a Skink (Sky Pony Press).  

Find Tamera on Facebook 
Follow her on Twitter @TameraWissinger