cover image Camp-Out


Joyce Maynard. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-214077-9

The author and her husband as illustrator both make debuts in this book, the story of an overnight outing. The warmth and mutual caring by members of an attractive family are conveyed in Maynard's blithe narrative. Audrey and her young brother Charlie help stow gear into the station wagon that Dad is tying the canoe onto, while Mom carries Baby Willy and a picnic basket to the laden vehicle. Then they're off to the lake, where everyone exults in dining al fresco, canoe rides, fishing, etc. During the night, Dad and Audrey calm Charlie's fears of shadows; when morning comes, everyone is set for the return trip after a breakfast of luscious blueberry pancakes. Bethel's color paintings in vivid, realistic colors are more impressive depictions of the bucolic locale and camping gear than they are of people who seem rather wooden, as they do not in the text. (38)