Thursday, May 7, 2015

Eddie's Tent (or how to go camping) by Sarah Garland (Frances Lincoln Children's Books)

Eddie's Tent (or how to go camping)

Written and Illustrated by
Sarah Garland

Published by Frances Lincoln Children's Books

We love outdoorsy stuff but if there's one thing I really can't stand, it's camping! I love my comfort too much but when The Strolling Mum and I first got together, we bought a tent and borrowed some camping gear for a couple of holidays (we even spent our honeymoon driving around New Zealand in a camper van - which is a really great way to discover whether you're going to stay married for very long :)

To be fair, it was pretty exciting snuggling up in a tiny tent on a windswept camping site in deepest darkest Cornwall, but swap that for lazing in a hot tub outside my comfortable lodge with all mod cons? No way! Not this daddy!

Mummy and Charlotte do talk about going camping a lot and this book could almost sway me in the right direction. Almost.

Eddie and his sisters Lily and Tilly, and Mum and Tom all decide it's time to break out the tent and the gear and go camping. After some very sensible packing (from Eddie) and some quite frantic attempts to stuff everything they own into pillowcases (Lily and Tilly), the family set off on an epic traffic-filled journey to a quiet camping spot by the coast.

They find the perfect place to pitch a tent, and while everyone's still snoring the next morning, Eddie goes off to explore his new surroundings.

It's an exciting adventure as the family learn to cook outside, play outside and build their own tents and dens. Eddie meets a new friend called Max and his Grandad, and joins them fishing. But can Eddie help out when Max loses his beloved puppy, Bouncer?

Part story, part instruction manual (as you dip into the last few pages of the book you'll be able to learn all the cool skills that Eddie and family use while they're camping), a really nice little book that comfortably nods in the direction of the modern family unit (as you'd expect from Sarah, the author and illustrator of the hugely impressive "Azzi In Between").

Only tiny tiny minus point (which doesn't detract from this excellent book at all really) is that Max's Grandad is accidentally described as his dad part way through the story (Charlotte noticed this with her eagle eyes - See if your kids notice!) I'd also love to live anywhere where you could pack all your gear into the car, head off and find a camping spot as idyllic as the family find in this story - I just don't think it's possible any more (I'm not even sure there ARE places like that in this country but I'm all ears - feel free to comment and tell me I'm wrong!)

Charlotte's best bit: Learning how to make cool outdoor camping stuff like a plate rack out of twigs, and even a mug stand! Oh and of course, CHOCOLATE BANANAS!

Daddy's Favourite bit: The "Eddie" series is brilliant for children, giving them a taste of outdoor excitement as the kids go camping for the first time (it almost - ALMOST makes me want to give up my lifelong pledge never to sleep under canvas again!)

(Kindly sent to us for review by Frances Lincoln Children's Books)

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