Book Review: When We Go Camping, by Sally Sutton, illustrated by Cat Chapman

Available now in bookshops nationwide.

when_we_go_campingSally Sutton has written a number of popular children’s books, including Roadworks and Construction, and the Diary of… series that features a range of animals, such as a frog and a pukeko.

When We Go Camping follows a family camping trip and the trials, tribulations and excitement of a holiday in the outdoors. A great book to read out loud to young children, it contains rhymes and onomatopoeia that evokes what’s happening on the pages.

When we go camping, we bang in the pegs,
Bang in the pegs, bang in the pegs.
Guy ropes are tricky; they trip up our legs!

Smacketty tappetty bopp-io.

Each page has a version of that phrase, keeping continuity throughout the book – zippetty zappetty flopp-io; slappetty whacketty swash-io, etc, ending with hushetty shushetty snore-io as they sleep off their adventures.

The illustrations by Cat Chapman are charming and will keep young ones (and those reading the book to them) amused for ages, hunting out all the things needed for a successful camping trip. Older children can read along, while younger ones can help point out certain things like the family dog (who gets a look-in on almost every page), a teddy bear, sunhat, jandals, sausages, flies – and even a possum in the loo (that page includes a hilarious rhyme about the long drop).

With good weather fast approaching, this book would make a great Christmas gift for those heading away on a camping holiday this summer.

Reviewed by Faye Lougher

When We Go Camping
by Sally Sutton, illustrated by Cat Chapman
Published by Walker Books
ISBN 9781921977787