Review Blog

Oct 24 2016

When we go camping by Sally Sutton

cover image

Ill. by Cat Chapman. Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781921977787
(Age: 5-7) Recommended. Camping. Holidays. Everyone who has ever been camping will relate to this amusing and informative picture book that shows a family on holiday. The whole family, including grandparents and pets, set out on a camping holiday. All the trials and tribulations of setting up a campsite are shown in humorous detail. The family members have to put up the tents, and try to avoid tripping on the guy ropes; they place their sleeping bags inside the tent on the floor and lay down to rest. When all is organised off the children go to have lots of fun at the campsite, swimming, playing with other kids and boiling a billy. They even have to face the long-drop toilet that stinks!
Each double page spread has three lines of verse, with rhyming words and lots of repetition and then a version of the phrase 'smacketty tappetty bopp-io' to suit the picture. Children will have lots of fun trying to guess the words in each of the phrases. The rhymes and onomatopoeia make it ideal to read aloud and independent readers will have a ball finding things to look at on the pages.
The narrative is accompanied by charming pictures by Cat Chapman that not only complement the text but add to it. The grandparents are seen sitting under an umbrella, a little dog appears on most pages and has lots of fun with the children and the bush and beach background is beautifully illustrated in soft pastel colours.
Sally Sutton has written other excellent books, including Roadworks and Farmer John's tractor and this lives up to the high expectations that I had of this author.
Pat Pledger

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