Monday 18 December 2017

Timo Goes Camping

Finished December 7
Timo Goes Camping by Victoria Allenby, illustrated by Dean Griffiths

This delightful chapter book is due to be released in March 2018, plenty of time before camping season here in Canada kicks in. The characters in the book are young animals who've never been on a camping trip before. Their reactions to the suggestion of camping, and to the actual experience show their personalities across a range that young readers will be able to compare to their own friends and family. Suki, the squirrel is the one with the idea of going camping and her optimism, eagerness to try new experiences and spontaneity show in the suggestion and her subsequent actions. Bogs, the toad, is enticed by his anticipated role as entertainer, while Hedgewick the hedgehog is flattered to be chosen as camp chef. Rae, a young badger is assigned the role of engineer. Time, the young rabbit was concerned about everyone's lack of camping experience, and tries to make a list to help, but doesn't know where to start.
He's a smart young bunny, and goes to his local library to find the information he needs. Once he identifies a useful book, he makes notes on the different tasks associated with camping to ensure he remembers and understands.
When the trip begins, Timo immediately finds his knowledge useful, helping tie the frying pan to Hedgewick's pack with the knots he learned about. As the trip progresses, Timo's knowledge continues to come in handy. There is much teasing from Suki about the mistakes made along the way, and even about Timo's book-learning until Timo gathers the courage to discuss how teasing can hurt people's feelings. I liked the opportunity taken for this discussion and the way it came up naturally through the plot. I liked the topic of a typical Canadian pastime such as camping.
Of course, the thing I loved most about this book was how even Suki agreed by the end that every adventure needs a librarian.
This is a good book for kids to introduce the idea of camping and some of the activities involved in such an adventure, the importance of not going into an adventure without some knowledge and preparation, and about ensuring that teasing doesn't become hurtful. The illustrations are lovely, bringing the animals to life, along with their environment.

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