S’more toasty campfire reading

A big "HI!" to those of you I met at Barnes & Noble in Grossmont Center, La Mesa today! Thank you Russell and Stephanie!

I also found this lovely article celebrating s'mores today and thought I'd share it with you. It's from Shari Transue at the "Allentown Children’s Books Examiner." (Thank you Shari!) Here goes . . .

If you are going on that last family vacation, September is a good month to take the family camping. Also Labor Day week is a nice time to take advantage of a camping trip. As the weather cools off and as the crisp air of ‘Indian Summer’ wisps in, pack your tent and your camp chair. Don’t forget your cozy, toasty campfire reads.

Also, check out these titles for s’more campfire reading as you hear the crackle of your Jiffy Pop and savor the crunch of your toasted, warm and melted marshmallows. For some of your little ones, your old favorite Maisy and friends, try their hand at camping in "Maisy Goes Camping" (2004) by Lucy Cousins. See if they make fun of their time camping or if they all fit into the tent. For some of your younger children or beginning readers Usborne Farmyard Tales has a collection of books, including, "Camping Out" (2004) by Heather Amery. This cute little story about Poppy, Sam and their dog Rusty, tells about their cozy farm yard camping adventure. In this and all Usborne books there is a Notes for Parents section. So, guide your children through this read and see if you can find the little duck hiding on each page.

Sleeping Bear Press has a great collection of Alphabet books, from states to history and even camping in their "S is for S’mores; A Camping Alphabet" (2007) by Helen Foster James. For the poet, A – Z walks you through camping, nature and rustic literature. For the logical, the sidebars are informational on many topics. The back of the book has recipes, camping ideas, supplies and smart, clean camping for keeping parks and sites pollution free. If you’re a singer pick up the guitar and put some music to the words in "Toasting Marshmallows; Camping Poems" (2001) by Kristine O’Connell George, another poets camping read.

Before it’s too late, make that trek to the great outdoors and breathe in that fresh natural air, start that campfire crackling, light that lantern, toast those ‘mallows, perk that coffee and relax by that fire. Savor those memories . . .

Warm front, cold back…
I lean against Mom,
My head on her shoulder.
Warm all over.
River Messages
River words run
in scallops and scribbles,
scrolls of eddies
and watery ripples…
Pulling Up the Stakes
The fire is doused,
the coals are cold,
the tent collapsed…

I find two rocks –
one to keep,
one to hide,
in my secret place,
to say: I was here.
to say: I’ll be back next year.

Excerpts from Toasting Marshmallows by Kristine O’Connell George