________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 1 . . . . September 7, 2001

cover When We Go Camping.

Margriet Ruurs. Illustrated by Andrew Kiss.
Toronto, ON: Tundra, 2001.
32 pp., cloth, $17.99.
ISBN 0-88776-476-2.

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.

Review by Ian Stewart.

**** /4


I love to go camping! When I wake up in our tent,
it is still early. My nose is cold and my breath forms a little cloud.

I snuggle into my sleeping bag, then roll over
and quietly peek outside. A wonderful world awaits us.

image The world of nature comes to a child's doorstep, or, in this case, their tent flap, with this delightful picture book that will certainly help them find a kinship with nature. Margriet Ruurs tells the story of a family's camping trip during which the young children are introduced to the simple pleasures that can be enjoyed in Canada's boreal forest: waking up near the shore of a pristine lake, walking down a woodland path picking berries and perhaps seeing a deer, squishing toes in the mud, cooking a meal of fresh caught fish over a campfire, and, at the end of the day, telling scary stories as the long shadows of the setting sun darken the lake and campsite. As the family explores the forest's meadows, beaver ponds and marshes, they meet the animal inhabitants of these ecological niches.

     Andrew Kiss has painted many animals into his illustrations and has also hidden a squirrel and silhouette of a mystery animal somewhere in each picture, things which children will enjoy searching out. Besides being a lovely book, When We Go Camping will also be useful in early years science programs. Each of the pages has a different print of an animal track, and a concluding section tells what animal's or bird's track was shown, provides a short description of a variety of animals, and also tells where each of the animal silhouettes is hidden (some are hard to find). When We Go Camping will be a highly valued book in any library or teacher's personal collection.

Highly Recommended.

Winnipeg's Ian Stewart is a regular contributor to CM and the book review pages of the Winnipeg Free Press.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364