THEME TUESDAY: Fun at the Beach (Picture Books)
The animals at the zoo take off for the beach for a nice summer holiday. After boarding the train and enjoying various individual activities at the beach the animals start to get bored. When seal proposes a race the other animals all agree, except for Giraffe. The animals speculate about why Giraffe won't join the race. The winner is to be the one who swims the farthest out into the ocean. But when Crocodile starts calling for help, Giraffe can't just sit by. I found the story quite fun with the bright, colorful illustrations. I especially liked the fact that the text refers to specific things going on in the illustrations, I couldn't help looking at the pictures to find the referred to activities. The overall feel of the story is upbeat and the message not at all heavy handed. Recommended.
Eddie along with his Mum, Tom, Lily, and Tilly go camping at the beach. After setting up their campsite, they go to bed. The next day is spent preparing food, enjoying the beach, and visiting the nearby town. Eddie even takes time to build his own tent. After visiting the nearby town and meeting a boy named Max and his puppy, Eddie and his family head back to their campsite. Max and his grandfather come after them to get their help searching for Max's missing puppy. It takes a rare talent to write a book that balances out the information the author wants to share but keep the focus on the characters. Sarah Garland has done a nice job here mixing the camping details into the story. It was fun to see Eddie and his family go camping. The book has a definite British flavor using British terms and camping activities. There were some ideas that I'd even like to try the next time I go camping. Reading about the food cooked over the fire made me hungry. There isn't anything else quite as tasty as a campfire cooked meal. The ideas mentioned in the book are more thoroughly explained at the end of the story. Thoroughly enjoyable for camping fans.