Postcards from Camp

( 1 )

Overview

The hilarious correspondence between a reluctant first-time camper and his dad

This fabulously creative book by Caldecott Award winner Simms Taback features handmade postcards and funny letters that readers will enjoy pulling out of their envelopes. Michael is new to sleepaway camp, and it's not going so well. He thinks his counselor is an alien, his bunkmates are pranksters, and it's constantly raining. So he sends his dad a series of urgent notes pleading for rescue. His dad ...

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Overview

The hilarious correspondence between a reluctant first-time camper and his dad

This fabulously creative book by Caldecott Award winner Simms Taback features handmade postcards and funny letters that readers will enjoy pulling out of their envelopes. Michael is new to sleepaway camp, and it's not going so well. He thinks his counselor is an alien, his bunkmates are pranksters, and it's constantly raining. So he sends his dad a series of urgent notes pleading for rescue. His dad is quick to reply, but encourages Michael to stick it out, reminding him that he met some of his best buddies at camp. Eventually there is a subtle change in Michael's tone - and a mention of a friend or two. Before you know it, Michael's a happy camper who's planning a longer stay next time.

Fans of Griffin & Sabine and The Jolly Postman will delight in the artistry of this book; the incredibly detailed cards and envelopes and amazing stamps. And they will enjoy taking part in a correspondence that reveals a deep affection between father and child, as Michael's exaggerated pleas are answered by his father's gentle jokes and advice. Here is a book that families and friends will enjoy together - and there's even a classic campfire ghost story tucked into one of those envelopes!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Using postcards and removable letters, Taback depicts a boy's first time at sleep-away camp through correspondence with his father, Harry. It's easy to see where Michael gets his imagination: when he pleads for his father to save him from his six-armed alien camp counselor, Harry sends a photo-collage postcard depicting desperate urbanites leaning out of windows, a New York Times headline announcing, "Big Heat Wave Grips City: Kids Stay at Camp." Harry's responses are consistently encouraging, positive, and funny, and Michael gradually acclimates to—and even enjoys—his time at camp. Those nervous about camp will relate to Michael's hyperbolic anxieties while treasuring his father's reassurances and good humor. All ages. (June)
From the Publisher
"Taback's signature illustrative style is perfect. . . . Share with kids before and after camp—newbies will be astonished at how typical Michael's experience is; seasoned campers (and their parents) will laugh all the way through." — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Drawings, collage elements, real envelopes, and removable letters creating a work of art that readers will want to pore over. Including plenty of puns, the book has reluctant-reader appeal. . . . Showcasing Taback's colorful frenetic style and inherent humor." — School Library Journal

"Those nervous about camp will relate to Michael's hyperbolic anxieties while treasuring his father's reassurances and good humor." — Publishers Weekly

Children's Literature - Ellen Welty
Epistolary stories have been popular with readers of all ages for a number of years, but not many are presented in such a creative fashion. Like the Ahlbergs' The Jolly Postman, this book contains letters that can be removed from their envelopes, as well as illustrations depicting both sides of postcards sent between Michael and his father Henry. Michael is a first-time camper, and he is having a difficult adjustment period. His postcards and letters to his father reflect his anxieties while the messages he receives in return are reassuring and entertaining. Michael sends his Henry a note begging for a new raincoat because it's been raining nonstop. Henry's return note includes a design for a new "never leaky raincoat suit." Michael leaves camp early to spend some time with his dad, and the last postcard is addressed to his new camp friends hoping that they will all be back next year. The artwork is imaginative and lends an entertaining element to a story that all young readers will enjoy. In addition to The Jolly Postman, compare this to Stringbean's Trip to the Shining Sea by Vera B. Williams. Recommended. Reviewer: Ellen Welty
School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—Drawing on the common feelings of trepidation and adjustment that first-time campers experience, Taback has created a fun story told through postcards and letters sent between home and camp. He uses the epistolary format to expand his familiar illustration style, with drawings, collage elements, real envelopes, and removable letters creating a work of art that readers will want to pore over. Including plenty of puns, the book has reluctant-reader appeal, although struggling readers may be challenged by the handwritten portions of text. Each page shows the front of an envelope or postcard, with the reverse page showing the back of each piece of mail—all showcasing Taback's colorful frenetic style and inherent humor. In this book, the medium is the message. It's a wonderful gift book for Taback fans and kids who are interested in camp, but the removable pieces pose problems for libraries without an in-house collection of toy books.—Anna Haase Krueger, Antigo Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews

A reluctant camper gradually adjusts over the course of the summer, which is communicated entirely in postcards and letters between him and his father.

After a brief prelude, the book begins with Michael's first postcard home, sent, apparently, as soon as he gets there. "Dear Dad, I HATE camp! Come get me! P-L-E-A-S-E. My counselor is an alien and a vegetarian." His father cheerfully responds to each plea with propaganda: New York City is in the throes of a heat wave; a hand-drawn postcard indicates that "97.3% of all children love camp." Postcard by postcard, though, Michael's attitude changes. He is certified as a "shark" in swim class; he goes on an awesome canoe trip; the Color War "was such fun.... Camp isn't that bad." There's one piece of correspondence per page turn, allowing readers to see both fronts and backs of postcards and letters. In the case of the letters, readers can "open" the envelopes cunningly glued to the pages and pull out the enclosed letters. Taback's signature illustrative style is perfect for this brief tale. Michael's scrawl and his father's cursive share space with collaged stamps and photographs as well as illustrations that suit the correspondents' ages.

Share with kids before and after camp—newbies will be astonished at how typical Michael's experience is; seasoned campers (and their parents) will laugh all the way through. (Picture book. 7-12)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399239731
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 6/30/2011
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 521,929
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Simms Taback grew up in the Bronx and graduated from Cooper Union. He has worked as an art director and a graphic designer, and has taught at the School of Visual Arts and Syracause University. He has illustrated many children's books, including I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly (Viking), Spacy Riddles, Snakey Riddles, Buggy Riddles, and Fishy Riddles (all written by Katy Hall and lIsa Eisenberg, Dial).His work has won many awards, including the Caldecott Honor Award Medal for I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly and a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book.A father of three and grandfather of three, Mr. Taback lives with his wife in Willow, New Yorkcopyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.
Simms Taback grew up in the Bronx and graduated from Cooper Union. He has worked as an art director and a graphic designer, and has taught at the School of Visual Arts and Syracause University. He has illustrated many children's books, including I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly (Viking), Spacy Riddles, Snakey Riddles, Buggy Riddles, and Fishy Riddles (all written by Katy Hall and lIsa Eisenberg, Dial).His work has won many awards, including the Caldecott Honor Award Medal for I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly and a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book.A father of three and grandfather of three, Mr. Taback lives with his wife in Willow, New Yorkcopyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Very funny book. I would tell other fourth graders about this bo

    Very funny book. I would tell other fourth graders about this book. 

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