Thursday, July 9, 2009

The joys of summer camp

When many children think of summer, they think of vacations, eating ice cream, sleeping late, and summer camp. My daughter is going to a wide variety of day summer camps this summer, and so far she has had a great time. Last year I reviewed a delightful picture book that is about the adventures two boys have during a week long summer getaway.

A Couple of Boys have the Best Week Ever
Marla Frazee
Picture Book
Ages 6 to 9
Harcourt, 2008, 978-0-15-206020-6
James and Eamon are going to have a week of nature camp together. They are going to stay at James’ grandparents’ house at the beach. James is pretty excited because he has never been away from home for a whole week before.
Their first day at nature camp isn’t that exciting but the time that the boys spend together afterwards at the house is great. The food that Pam (James’ grandmother) makes is wonderful and Bill (James’ grandfather) is a good sport even if he does go on about Antarctica and penguins rather a lot.
With each passing day the boys get closer. They don’t really get that much out of nature camp but they have a terrific time playing games, watching T.V. and not spending any time on the beach.
In this delightful summer title Marla Frazee truly captures with great skill and humor the essence of little boy doings. Anyone who has ever spent any amount of time with little boys will recognize the behaviors and thinking processes of these two children. Parents will see how fruitless it is to try to steer little boys into a certain direction, and children will laugh to see how much fun James and Eamon have in spite of their nature camp activities.
The wonderful illustrations in the book compliment the text perfectly, catching the nuances of little boy shenanigans and games. Don’t forget to look at the ‘photo gallery’ inside the front and back covers of the book.
The book was a Caldecott Honor book for 2009. You can find out more about the author and her books on her website.

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