The Camping Trip

The Camping Trip cover
The Camping Trip by Jennifer K. Mann

by Jennifer K. Mann

Candlewick, 2020
48 pages

Ages 4-8

Ernestine can’t wait to go on her first camping trip, with her Aunt Jackie and cousin, Samantha. “I’ve never been camping before, but I know I will love it.” Her anticipation mounts as she gets ready, packing her new sleeping bag and a duffle, and making trail mix with her dad. A long car ride finally ends at the campground, where it’s quiet and big, and “smells like trees, and fire, and dirt.” Putting up a tent isn’t as easy as building a fort at home, and the realization that fish are swimming alongside her in the lake sends Ernestine to shore. It turns out that hiking uphill is work, tofu hot dogs are as bad as she expected, and missing her dad is hardest at night. But challenges are countered with nature discovery, scrumptious s’mores, and the beauty of a starlit sky. Aunt Jackie handles Ernestine’s qualms with calm confidence, and the two cousins play together with familiar ease. Gentle humor and engaging details, right down to end papers itemizing necessities from tarp to playing cards, show this brown-skinned extended family introducing a new member to the realistic joys and adversities of camping. ©2020 Cooperative Children’s Book Center