Like nearly everything else, reading is seasonal, and there’s something special about summer books for kids. Here are some of my family’s favourites:
Mission: Explore. On the Road
Geography Collective (Can of Worms £4.99)
This pocket book opens with a big challenge: ‘Do not go any further if you are afraid of going on adventures or trying new things.’ Inside lie 50 ‘travel missions’, from collecting the fingerprints of people you meet on your travels or the silliest place names, to walking as far as you can without crossing underneath a wire. There’s plenty of place for jottings and sketches, and even a section on basic training to be an explorer. Pint-sized, perfect fun.
All Around the World
Geraldine Cosneau (Tate Publishing £8.99)
‘Look! They’re mating, Mum.’ My 10-year-old placed two stickers of impalas on top of each other on The African Savannah, one of eight pullout landscape pages in this fabulous book. Each landscape comes with masses of stickers showing the region’s flora and fauna above and below the sea. It’s meant for younger children – there are also dot-to-dot animals to complete – but everyone loves stickers. Even my teenager was looking on in envy as my 10-year-old peeled off the bison for the North American Forest.
Jacqueline Wilson Summer Annual
DC Thomson £5.99
More stickers! This isn’t so much a book about travelling (although it does give tips for a perfect sleepover), but it’s a great book to travel with. It’s jam packed with things to do on the move, from writing about your car journey (even if its pretty boring) to giving points for spotting seaweed, smooth pebbles or seagulls. There’s even a brand new Jacqueline Wilson story about a trip to the seaside. Highlighters and summer diary are included.
The Reading Chest
This isn’t one book but lots of them. A former teacher and mum of three has set up a postal library for kids aged 4-9 that works like DVD rentals do. You pay monthly membership, let them know what sort of book you like (you can’t ask for individual titles), and they’re posted out to you with prepaid envelopes for their return. If you’re travelling around Britain, you can send them back as they’re finished with from your holiday destination, so don’t have to lug them home.
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