The Graves Family Goes Camping

The Graves Family Goes Camping

5.0 2
by Patricia Polacco
     
 

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When the Graves family goes camping to mysterious Lake Bleakmire, so doall their ghoulish sidekicks—bats, spiders, and even their Venus Flytrap. Yet nothing can prepare them for their latest sidekick: a fire-breathing dragon, who eats the Graves family's irresistible Jum Jills and then follows them home like a stray kitten. How do they get rid of the

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Overview

When the Graves family goes camping to mysterious Lake Bleakmire, so doall their ghoulish sidekicks—bats, spiders, and even their Venus Flytrap. Yet nothing can prepare them for their latest sidekick: a fire-breathing dragon, who eats the Graves family's irresistible Jum Jills and then follows them home like a stray kitten. How do they get rid of the dragon, especially after the giant beast accidentally soaks all the town's fireworks just before the big 4th of July celebration? The explosive solution is pure fun.

Patricia Polacco is at her wildest, funniest, and creepiest in this all-new Graves family adventure.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Patricia Polacco mines the theme of children nourished by unexpected friendship, tosses in a little light horror and comes up with over-the-top hilarity," wrote PW about The Graves Family. Now the wacky clan heads for their annual foray into nature in The Graves Family Goes Camping. They pack up their Venus flytrap, the "family spiders and bats," and head off to Bleakmire, situated under "threatening skies [on] a large murky lake." What could be better for family togetherness? Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
A family camping trip will never be the same after accompanying the Graves family on their annual adventure. In this follow-up to The Graves Family, the family is off to Lake Bleakmire, a "place legends are made of." A van and a tiny pink trailer are filled with everything from a bevy of bats to a grandfather clock. The most fun for any reader who has wrestled with an uncooperative tent will be the way the pink trailer springs into action in the campground: "The door swung open and belched out a fountain, an arbor and a fence . . . Then came a small boat, a barbecue pit, a stunning array of scientific equipment . . . " Dr. Graves is a scientist so he and the children collect specimens of every imaginable small creature before returning home to Mrs. Graves' "cake-like, muffinesque, cream-puffy, dream-puffy bite-sized morsels" called Jum Jills. In the end it is those irresistible Jum Jills that calm the fire-breathing dragon. The story is wild and crazy and the illustrations burst with wackiness. 2005, Philomel, Ages 4 to 8.
—Karen Leggett
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Polacco's follow-up to The Graves Family (Philomel, 2003) offers a further adventure in the lives of Doug and Shalleaux Graves and their children, friends, and nanny (a Venus flytrap named Phoebe). The family packs up a pink trailer and heads to Lake Bleakmire for a summer camping trip. While Dr. Graves and the youngsters search for new spider and snake specimens in the depths of the forest, they come across an enormous footprint. Then Shalleaux makes her famous Jum Jills (one bite sends anyone into "a veritable eating frenzy"), and the tasty treat attracts a fire-breathing dragon that keeps coming back for more. The situation worsens when the creature follows them home to Union City and threatens to ruin the town's fireworks display, until Dr. Graves comes up with a solution. The wacky illustrations are filled with Adams Family-like touches, which may be enough to distract readers from the meandering text and facile ending.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Polacco again exercises the surprising streak of goofiness revealed in The Graves Family (2003). Doug and Shalleaux Graves take off, with attendant children, oversized spiders and other household companions for Lake Bleakmire-a site so isolated that, along with Vernicious Knids, gnashing knarps, bilge leeches and other atypical fauna, the last Flatulent Sulphuric Fermious Flying Griffin (more commonly known as fire breathing dragon) lurks. Several misadventures later the Graves break away, despite the lonely monster's efforts to trap them, only to discover back home that it has followed along, eager for more of Mrs. Graves's delectable Jum Jill pastries. Wielding her brushes in a quicker, more cartoony fashion than usual, Polacco places her freewheeling, carrot-topped clan amid all sorts of oogy creatures, capped by a scaly, bat-winged behemoth whose explosive eructations ultimately provide the town of Union City with its most spectacular Fourth of July fireworks show ever. Delightfully gross and utterly unserious. (Picture book. 7-9)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399243691
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/28/2005
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
8.78(w) x 11.36(h) x 0.49(d)
Lexile:
AD980L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 10 Years

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