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Children's Fiction Business, Careers, Occupations

Fishing with Gubby

illustrated by Kim La Fave

by (author) Gary Kent

Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd.
Initial publish date
Sep 2010
Business, Careers, Occupations, General, General
Recommended Age
3 to 6
Recommended Grade
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2010
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Fishing with Gubby is the marvelously illustrated, authentic account of one season in the life of a salmon fisherman. Based on actual events, the story is told by award-winning children's illustrator Kim La Fave and former fisherman Gary Kent. Together they make the wharfs, boats, fishermen and villages of the BC coast come alive with remarkable detail and humour.

Gubby is a salmon fisherman who lives with his wife Millie and cat Puss in a small seaside village on the west coast of British Columbia. He keeps his boat, the Flounder--a 36-foot west coast salmon troller--at a local wharf with many other boats.

Gubby's journey first takes him up BC's west coast, through Georgia, Johnstone and Queen Charlotte straits and north past Port Hardy. He then heads into the open ocean towards treacherous Cape Scott, through to Winter Harbour and Quatsino Sound to settle in for a summer of fishing. Gubby and Puss face rolling rapids, rough and tumble storms and banks of fog, tussle with a basking shark and a pod of orcas, all while trolling for spring and coho salmon
and visiting other fishermen and homesteaders along the way.

Part graphic novel and part ocean adventure story in the style of Raymond Briggs, Fishing with Gubby not only depicts the salty BC coast, it captures the vanishing "golden age" when fishing was more than just a job--it was a way of life.

About the authors

Kim La Fave, a Governor General's Award-winning artist, is the illustrator of Amos's Sweater (by Janet Lunn) -- winner of the Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award and the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award for illustration -- Follow That Star (by Kenneth Oppel), I Am Small (by Cherrie Fitch), the bestselling The Bones and Skeleton Book (by Steven Cumbaa) and many other children's books. He lives in Roberts Creek, BC.

Kim La Fave's profile page

Gary Kent grew up in Vancouver and received his BA from the University of British Columbia. He was a commercial fisherman and salmon troller for ten years and is now a furniture maker and instructor at the Inside Passage School of Fine Woodworking. He lives in Roberts Creek, BC.
Left: Gary Kent, right, with Puss and illustrator Kim La Fave. Photo by Manuel Sierra Sanchez-Medal.

Gary Kent's profile page


  • Short-listed, Joe Shuster Award
  • Short-listed, Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Literature--Illustration
  • Short-listed, Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award
  • Short-listed, Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award--BC Book Prize
  • Runner-up, Moonbeam Children's Book Awards

Librarian Reviews

Fishing With Gubby

This graphic picture book, illustrated in a style evocative of a Tintin comic book and coloured in hues of grey, recounts a season in the life of a fisherman. We travel with Gubby and his cat Puss on their yearly journey in a small fishing boat to troll salmon on Canada’s West Coast. This laid-back fisherman encounters orcas, basking sharks, storms and fogbanks. We learn about daily life aboard ship —his favourite meal is beans on toast and orange pekoe tea, about copper paint for barnacles and special green hoochie lures for spring salmon, and we share banter with other fishermen along the way. The front and back inside covers feature a map of their route from Vancouver, through the Strait of Georgia to the fishing grounds off northwestern Vancouver Island. Readers will pour over these details, including the double-page cutaway labeled drawing of the fishing boat.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2011-2012.

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