animals, family, nature

Book List: Going On a Camping Trip

The Camping Trip (Candlewick)
Written & Illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann

For ages: 3-7
Ernestine has never been camping but is excited beyond description about it. Aunt Jackie arrives and takes the girl and her cousin out into the wilderness. We follow them on the car ride as they keep themselves amused and then when they help setting up the camping spot. Ernestine is met with some surprises though. When she goes swimming in the lake only to find there are fish there, very much unlike the pool at the YMCA. Ernestine deals with homesickness and some discomfort but finds camping is actually more fun than she imagined. Some s’mores and a star lit night help cap off the first of what will be many camping trips.

One Summer Up North (Univ of Minnesota Press)
Written & Illustrated by John Owens

For ages: 3-7
This wordless book follows a family as they canoe & hike their way along the Boundary Waters between Minnesota and Canada. The book begins with them in their station wagon on the last leg of their trip, passing a sign that lets them know they are in the Superior National Forest. Wearing life jackets and hiking packs, they load into a canoe and begin rowing to their campsite, taking in all the nature around them. They have small moments & encounters that showcase the diversity of flora & fauna in this region of the world, giving readers glimpses of moose, bald eagles, blueberries, birch trees, and more.

Hike (Candlewick)
Written & Illustrated by Pete Oswald

For ages: 3-7
Another wordless book that switches out a lake side camping trip for a mountain climbing one. A child and father wake up early one morning and head out to the woods. At a trailhead they pull on their packs and work through the thick woods. They use binoculars and a camera to see the sights, stopping along the way for some trail mix and water. Eventually, they come to the cliff and use rope and helmets to make their way up. Their purpose for making this trip is revealed as they plant a sapling. Perhaps in remembrance of a loved one who passed? As the sun sets, the pair wrap things up and head home.

A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee (Chronicle Books)
Written & Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen

For ages: 3-7
For the uninitiated, Mr. Magee is a Mr. Magoo type of characters, always bumbling into one mix-up or the other. This book finds the titular protagonist driving his camping trailer out to the woods with his trusty pooch Dee. Things do not go as planned when a hungry bear unhitches their trailer sending it careening down a steep hill. Mr. Magee and Dee take a trip down the rapids and almost go over the edge of a waterfall. The text maintains a playful rhyme and the art style is akin to the 1950s with some fun, colorful paintings that tell the story. If you enjoy this one there are two more in the series.

Don’t Feed the Bear (Union Square Kids)
Written by Kathleen Doherty
Illustrated by Chip Wass

For ages: 3-7
In the vein of Yogi & Ranger Smith we get another Bear and his antagonistic park ranger. The problems begin when Bear comes across a sign in the park telling visitors not to feed him. That doesn’t sit well so he responds with his own signage: DON’T FEED THE RANGER. From there it becomes a petty back and forth of adding and deleting portions of each other’s signs. Finally, an agreement is made and they encourage visitors to feed them both which leads to Bear and the ranger being happily full. The sentences here are short, sharp, and to the point, accentuated by a playful cartoon show style of illustration.

Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping (Random House Books for Young Readers)
Written & Illustrated by Melaine Watt

For ages: 3-7
Check out my spotlight on author-illustrator Melanie Watt. Her most famous creation, Scaredy Squirrel embarks on a camping trip but imagines all the perils that might befall him: quicksand, hungry bears, penguins! He decides to stay in his tent and just watch television but an electrical outlet is sure hard to come by in the woods. A simple plan becomes an ever-complicated one, growing in the number of tools he’ll need to get the job done but Squirrel works it all out. That is until a dreaded…penguin crosses his path. This is a very fun & silly book that plays with all sorts of exaggeration and overreaction on Squirrel’s part.

Into the Outdoors (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Written & Illustrated by Susan Gal

For ages: 3-7
This text is both a camping story and a great example of how prepositions are used for your students. A family goes up a mountain, over a bridge, and under trees where they find a campground. They hike a bit more, start a cozy campfire and enjoy themselves. Throughout the book we get glimpses of foxes, deer, and a bear. This is a book all about vibes, letting readers be lulled into a sense of peace and contemplation. The art and text are gentle in its presentation and result is a calm experience. All that said, it comes as no surprise that this would make a fantastic bedtime read to settle your little ones down.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s