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  • Kim Bogren Owen

Summer Vacation Adventures: Books that Take You There!

Ah, the quintessential summer vacation! Something we long for and fantasize about all winter long. I just returned from ours and sincerely hope you get one too! Lots of relaxation, catching up with good friends and family, and seeing a few new places was just what was needed for a reboot. Here are few books that celebrate vacations and would be perfect to read before, during, or after your vacation!

Go Home, River by James Magdanz and Dianne Widom tells of a child who goes up river to it's start and then all the way back down to the ocean with his family. There they meet with other families, celebrate, and trade. The boy witnesses fog and his father tells him that is how the river returns to the mountains and goes home again just like they will in the morning. While this book isn't about a vacation that is just for fun, it is a great book about traveling that also explores the water cycle. This would be wonderful to read if you are visiting the ocean, lake, or river this summer.

Zoom, the cat, leads a very respectful life until he is zipped away on several adventures in The Zoom Triology by Tim Wynne-Jones and Eric Beddows. Very fun, creative, and imaginative books that are some of the best stories out there. These were among my children's favorite stories when they were younger.

In his latest adventure, Carl goes on vacation to the lake with his family in Carl's Summer Vacation by Alexandra Day. While the parents clean up the cabin, Carl and Madeleine are told to take a nap, but instead they explore and the usual high jinx ensues. These books delight children (as they should) despite some adults' concerns about leaving a child alone with a dog. I personally have never had those concerns as the book is fiction and fantasy.

In How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Mark Teague, Wallace's parents send him out West to visit his aunt so he can rest awhile, because he has been acting a little wild (what parent and child can't relate to that sentiment?). On the way there, Wallace is captured by cowboys who ask him to help them out and he ends up saving the day. A very fun book! Mark Teague, also, wrote LaRue Across America which I haven't read, but if it is half as good as the other LaRue books it will be well worth the read.

Gather a few pictures from your last vacation and turn them into a simple book for your children to dictate (or if they are able write) descriptions about what was happening and how they felt about it. If you are a teacher, you can ask families to bring in a few photos or you can have children cut photos out of magazines. If you work with families who cannot afford a vacation, collect magazines and do the same thing to take a journey in your imaginations.

For another creative art activity, use long pieces of paper (local newspapers often sell their end rolls very inexpensively) and have your child draw a map of where they went, adding in the major stops or activities.

Create cars, planes, boats out of boxes and add suitcases, maps, and tickets to create vacation themed dramatic play. Include a picnic basket with play food and dishes, as well as other vacation accessories, such as towels, an empty, clean bottle of sunscreen, and camera.

As always, I hope you enjoy these books! You are welcome to use this blog, in whole or part, with credit to Kim Bogren Owen and Words Reflected. Please add your recommendations for additional books about vacations (I had a hard time finding many on this subject) in the comments.

(This blog uses the Amazon affiliate program so when you click on the title and purchase through Amazon, you are supporting us! If you don't purchase through these links, please, be sure to support your independent, local bookstore or find them at your library!)

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