Sunday, August 7, 2011

Camping fun all around! (ages 3 - 8)

We love camping with our family - sleeping under the stars, reading under the trees, hiking with friends and not caring about how dirty you get! I have fun each summer looking forward to our camping trips by reading some books that celebrate camping with kids. Here are two favorites that are easily available in libraries:
Stella and Roy Go CampingStella and Roy Go Camping
by Ashley Wolff
CA: Yosemite Association, 2006 (reprint)
ages 3–8
available at your local library, favorite bookstore or on Amazon
Ashley Wolff, the wonderful illustrator of the Miss Bindergarten series, shares the excitement of two young children going hiking in Yosemite. Along the way, Roy is determined to find a bear’s tracks — wouldn’t that be exciting?!! But each time he finds an animal’s footprints, his big sister says, “Wrong, Roy” — it’s really a deer, or a raccoon, or some other animal’s tracks. That night camping by the lake, Roy really does see a bear and the next morning the tracks prove him right. This book shares a lot of information about looking for animal tracks and gives young kids a sense of the fun you can have hiking and camping. Kids will enjoy the friction between the big sister who is learning to read her guidebook and the younger brother who is sure that he will find a bear.
A Camping Spree With Mr. MageeA Camping Spree with Mr. Magee
by Chris Van Dusen
CA: Chronicle Books, 2003
ages 3–8
available at your local library, favorite bookstore or on Amazon
Told in great rhymes that remind me very much of Dr. Seuss, this is a fun camping book that will make you all laugh. Mr. Magee and his trusty dog Dee are off on a summer camping trip to spend some time in the wilderness. Their first night, a big lumbering bear tries to reach some marshmallows, and it accidentally undoes Mr. Magee’s camper hitch. The camper “flew down the road in a wild, bumpy ride, / with Dee and Magee sleeping soundly inside.” All of a sudden Magee and Dee find themselves teetering on the edge of a huge waterfall! But the bear rescues the camper (thinking that the hitch is a giant marshmallow). Chris Van Dusen combines playful rhymes with energetic, colorful illustrations. Silly and funny — perfect for young kids.

You can see part of A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee in the Google Books preview below. You may recognize Van Dusen's artwork from the popular early reader series Mercy Watson.

For more books that celebrate camping, head over to Parents Press, a local Bay Area newspaper where I write a monthly column. This month's features camping books!

Review ©2011 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books.


  1. Great round up! One more my family loves: Lucille Camps In, about poor little Lucille the pig, who gets left home while her older brother and sister go camping with Dad. Luckily, Lucille and mom figure out a way to make their own fun...

  2. Thanks, Erica! I loved reading Kathryn Lasky's historical fiction - didn't know she's also written picture books!

    Here's the link to WorldCat for Lucille Camps In: