cover image When I Go Camping with Grandma

When I Go Camping with Grandma

Marion Dane Bauer, Bauer. Troll Communications, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8167-3448-1

Though hardly Newbery Honor author Bauer's (On My Honor; Ghost Eye) most striking work, this affectionate portrait of a girl and her grandmother is quietly moving. The narrator and Grandma hike into the woods, fish from a canoe at sunset and snuggle into their sleeping bags in a tent. When day breaks, they climb back into the canoe while the girl muses on a future time, when she will be the guiding light on a similar expedition: ""Soon I'll be taller, stronger. I'll sing away the bears when we hike in the woods. I'll build the fire and paddle the canoe."" The text may occasionally baffle young readers (""A heron wings over our heads. Great blue shadow. Pterodactyl""). For the most part, Garns's (Gonna Sing My Head Off!) grainy, shadow-filled art accentuates the contemplative quality of Bauer's story. Yet several spreads-e.g., of a splendid lakeside sunset-blaze with brilliant color. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)