The Camping Trip : A book about learning by Jane Martino. Illus. by Annie White

cover image

Henry's greatest delight is finding out about things, particularly the animal world, from his Big Book of Animals. Even when he is outside amongst nature, he uses his book to discover new things about the creatures he sees. But on a camping trip in the bush with his dads, brother and best friend Ruby and her family, Henry discovers his book is missing! How will he learn about all the fantastic things he finds and sees on the trip without it? At first he sulks and misses out because he doesn't have his book to consult but then he discovers there are other ways to learn.

This is the final in this series which includes The Inside DayNoisy Tom, Super-Me and The Thank You Present developed in collaboration with Smiling Mind, Australia's leading not-for-profit organisation in the pre-emptive mental health space. Like its predecessors it includes activities to engage the child after the book is read, in this case inviting them to explore nature using all their senses. There is also a three-minute Nature Sounds meditation written especially for 3-6 year olds available on their free app.

The mental health of our little ones who have been deprived of their friends' company at such a crucial time of their socialisation development is finally being recognised and so any guidance that enables parents to keep their little ones emotionally okay as well as physically safe is to be welcomed. The suggestions for the senses scavenger hunt outdoors when picnics are making a huge comeback is perfect and so this is a title that parents need to be made aware of. That the stories features a two-dad family, the norm for many of our students these days, is an added bonus.

Themes: Camping, Mindfulness.

Barbara Braxton