In which Annie (high school teacher, mother of two young girls and a younger boy) and her aunt Deborah (children's bookseller, mother of two young women in their 20s) discuss children's books and come up with annotated lists.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Hiking with kids: the secret ingredient

Dear Annie,

Eleanor is reading whole chapters on her own!  This is so great. 

We're in Maine now -- haven't made it to the Saco for canoeing yet, but are very happy to be away from city life.  Your pal and occasional guest blogger Denise posted a great question on my last post:
What are some other books like these that would inspire hiking and camping trips? My daughter is a resistant hiker though reciting/singing We're Going on a Bear Hunt always keeps her going for a little while. But we do need more inspiration for our imminent camping trip:-)
I can't think of a perfect book, but let me offer two that might help, and some advice.

Play with Me
, by Marie Hall Ets is a sweet picture book (1955) about a girl who wanders into a meadow looking for playmates.  She meets a series of animals (grasshopper, frog, turtle, fawn, etc) who run away when she gets too close.  She eventually sits by a pond and the animals all come back.  It gives a feel of the elusiveness of animals in the wild, and of needing to act a bit differently when one is looking for them.  It's also just a lovely classic book.

Good old Henry and Mudge come through on this topic with a camping book:
Henry and Mudge and the Starry Night
, by Cynthia Rylant.  Henry and his parents -- with, of course, his big dog Mudge -- go camping. They hike to their campsite:
They walked and walked 
and climbed and climbed.
It was beautiful.
And there's a list of what they see: fish, deer, waterfall, rainbow.  Mudge gets very fond of all the smells.  They end up sleeping under the stars.

I'm going to veer off books for a minute to offer a solution which worked real well in our family:  always hike with friends.  Slogging up that trail with mom and dad and siblings can get a little old, tiring, whine-inducing.  But add another family with kids -- with us slightly older kids were the best -- and it becomes an adventure.  Being in a new place with friends makes it all a lot more fun.  And if you're the kind of family that likes to sing a few tunes from Broadway musicals as you go, you'll be at the top of whatever you're climbing before you know it.

Enjoy your trip, Denise.



1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the advice! Will let you know how the trip goes...