Caravan Fran by Cheryl Orsini
Lothian, 2015. ISBN 9780734416131
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Holidays, Friendship, Caravans, Journeys, Maps, Safety. Three friends, Dave, Sam and Joe, set off on their holidays with Caravan Fran in tow. They must first pack their caravan with all the things they need, then drive off. But along the way their dog, Ray falls into the river. Sam dives in to rescue him but they drift off, and Joe grabs the canoe from the top of the van to paddle after them.
While Dave drives off to their destination, readers will love following their antics as the car and van follow the road, and the dog and Ray swim down the river with Sam following in the canoe. All three friends are working hard at saving the dog.
The soft watercolour and gouche illustrations work well with this entertaining story of friendship and holidays. Children will love looking at all the detail included in the pictures on each page, and marvel at the journey taken by the group. Caravan Fran holds up well, stuffed full of their necessaries and she looks very contented once they all reach the beach and their things can be spread out. The pictures of the van and its insides are enticing, and the range of things that come out of the van to make their life more comfortable on their holiday is incredible. Readers will take the opportunity to talk of their family holidays, what they see and any adventures they had. Teachers will take the opportunity to talk of the safety measures needed when holidaying as well as using the book to introduce the idea of maps.