Camping Trip
by Mann, Jennifer K.

Accompanying her aunt and cousin on an exciting weekend camping trip, Ernestine finds the activities of setting up a tent and fishing more challenging than anticipated and struggles to feel comfortable while sleeping under the stars. By the creator of Josie's Lost Tooth. Illustrations.

Jennifer K. Mann was an architect before turning to children&;s books full time. She is the creator of the picture books Josie&;s Lost Tooth, Sam and Jump, Two Speckled Eggs, and I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson&;s Blackboard. She and her family spend a week camping with friends every summer, always at the same campsite in a beautiful state park. They pack their rickety pick-up truck full of gear and dogs, put an old canoe on the roof, and spend the week hiking, exploring, swimming, paddling, cooking outside, telling stories, and sleeping in tents. Jennifer K. Mann lives on an island near Seattle with her husband, children, cats, dogs, and chickens.

*Starred Review* Ernestine, who lives with her father in the city, narrates this story of going overnight camping with her aunt and cousin. It is the small African American girl's first such trip, and she's excited to buy needed equipment and spend time outdoors. Though she thinks she knows what to expect, the child is surprised by a number of new experiences. For example, swimming at the Y and swimming in a lake are very different: "There are fish in here!" she exclaims, with eyes wide and teeth clenched. Hiking in the woods is not the same as walking to school, and spending a night without her father nearby is lonesome. But finding new insects, admiring huge trees, and gazing at a startling starlit sky help her discover the wonders of the outdoors. Sweet pencil illustrations, collaged and painted digitally, appear in a variety of sizes, including some graphic-style panels that employ speech bubbles for dialogue. Beginning readers will enjoy being able to look at a picture and read the camping word placed nearby-camera, hat, swimsuit, pillow, sunglasses-on the endpapers as well as in the story. This title can serve as a manual for children who are about to go camping for the first time or as a remembrance for those who have had that exhilarating adventure. Preschool-Grade 2. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

A young black girl experiences her first-ever camping trip, invited along by her aunt and cousin. Ernestine, the immediately likable narrator, has never been camping, but she knows she is going to love it. She is thoroughly prepared, barely fitting all the gear her aunt listed into her duffel bag. When at last Aunt Jackie arrives, Ernestine says goodbye to her dad. She and her cousin amuse themselves in the car until they arrive at the campground: a full-bleed, double-page spread of lake and trees and mountains that will have readers ready to break out their own tents. After working hard to set up their tent, the girls are ready for a swim—but newbie Ernestine, who loves swimming at the Y, is surprised to find there are fish in the pond. After lunch, they all go on a hike, but someone seems to have packed too much in her backpack. A campfire, dinner, s'mores, some tossing and turning in her sleeping bag, a touch of homesickness, and a star-filled night all await the narrator in her memorable trip that is full of surprises. Experienced campers will smile knowingly wh ile the inexperienced will gain tips about how real camping compares to the imagined. Mann's thin, sometime-scribbly lines and earth-toned colors capture the child's viewpoint masterfully, and the variety of layouts, from pages full of small vignettes with speech bubbles to spread-spanning landscapes, carries readers through anticipation, humor, and awe in this longer-than-usual picture-book/graphic-novel hybrid. All characters are black. This delightful trip will be savored again and again. (Picture book. 5-10) Copyright Kirkus 2020 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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