PICNIC AT CAMP SHALOM by Jacqueline Jules
Illustrated by Deborah Melmon
So, don’t be fooled by the title: this is not just a camp story. This is a friendship story that happens to take place at a Jewish sleep-away camp, and is a great read for all year round.
Carly and Sara become fast friends when they notice they are wearing the same bathing suit (twins!). But when Carly makes fun of Sara’s last name, her bunkmate refuses to be consoled. Their mutual love of music—plus a secret in common—brings them back together.
I like how the story describes the development of the girls’ friendship, and their short lived disagreement . Everything is told very naturally from a true kid-like perspective.
I wonder: Do kids in this age group really go to sleep-away camp? I think picture book readers and these characters are more likely to be day-campers. But the story itself is perfectly age appropriate.
The illustrations by Deborah Melmon are wonderful. Each character, including the supporting kids in the background has their own personality. The pictures also have fun details to find, like the bunny slippers under the bunk of a fellow camper.
If you are looking for a story that speaks about the fun (and the challenges) of friendship, this is a great one.
Rating: 4 of 5.
You can purchase a copy here: