Camping is a huge part of summer for me and my family. There is nothing better than smells, sights, sounds, tastes and feelings of a few days in the forest sleeping under the stars. So for all you camping fans out there, today I thought I’d share my favorite camping books and hope that you will make lots of connections to them! These would be great books for modeling personal connections in September – especially if you love to camp as much as I do!
Camping – by Nancy Hundal Nancy Hundal is a Vancouver teacher librarian and author and I am a huge fan of hers. Her writing is exquisite – and I often use it as a model for showing students how to create visual images with words. Nancy has a unique style of writing in short, list like sentences that have a poetic quality. “Camp food … mmm… chicken stew and hot, creamy marshmallows. The black charry bits scabbed to stick, stuck to fingers. Burnt. Mmm. Camp food.” The illustrations by Brian Deines are stunning and a perfect match to the sensual prose. This is truly a beautiful book!
When We Go Camping by Margriet Ruurs is another great camping book with extraordinarily life like illustrations. This books follows a family through a day of camping – from setting up the tent, to gathering firewood, hiking, cooking, washing the dishes, campfire. As in her similar books A Mountain Alphabet and A Pacific Alphabet, Ruurs “hides” things within each page, to create an added “search and find” feature to the book. In this book, there are various animal tracks weaving through each page that you can search for and information about each animal at the back of the book. A great way of combining the narrative with facts.
S is for S’mores – a Camping Alphabet by Helen Foster James is one of the many alphabet books published by the same company, including Z is for Zamboni and M is for Maple. These books combine the matching alphabet letters and factual information with beautiful illustrations. This book does include several references to camp grounds in the United States, but I still like the idea that you can find a word connected to camping for every letter of the alphabet! In terms of classroom use – these alphabet books are great models for kids creating their own on a topic they are “experts” in!
Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping – by Melanie Watt.
Of course my list of favorite camping books would not be complete without the latest episode of Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt. We LOVE this paranoid, anxious squirrel as he first avoids and then attempts to move out of his comfort zone and venture out into the unknown! In this book he is attempting a camping trip – but believes it would be much safer to watch camping safety shows on TV in his tree. But in order to do that, he must find an extension cord – which means venturing out into the woods to find one! Hilarious! In terms of teaching, I love to use this book as a model for creating text features as Melanie Watt includes so many to illustrate all of Scaredy Squirrel’s books – charts, maps, labels, fact boxes.
Well that’s it for today! Happy reading and happy camping!