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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Review: Camp Babymouse

Camp Babymouse by Jennifer Holm & Matthew Holm

In the sixth installment of the Babymouse series, Babymouse has decided to go to camp. She is very excited about camp from the very beginning. Upon arriving at camp she finds out her cabin number and meets her cabin mates. They're not very excited to me her though. She has to climb to the very top bunk because everyone else has already claimed the other bunks. They also didn't let Babymouse help in choosing the name of their cabin because they had all been a group last year. Babymouse felt left out from her first day.

At the first camp meeting, the campers find out that they will gain and lose points during the first week based on the results of competitions and behavior. Babymouse does everything wrong at the beginning of the story and she loses so many points for her team. She doesn't pay attention to the counselor, she makes a lot of messes, and she wasn't prepared for cabin inspections. One night Babymouse went to the bathroom and came back to hear the other campers in her cabin talking about how much Babymouse is ruining camp for them and letting their team down. Babymouse is so upset by this that she calls home to have her parents come pick her up early. She also thinks about what she can do to be a better camper.

Babymouse begins to be prepared for inspection and to be a leader in her group. When the last competition takes place, Babymouse is named cabin captain! She helps her team win the final scavenger hunt competition. Unfortunately, she lost her team so many points before that winning the last competition didn't make up all the lost points and her cabin still lost but she was much happier to be at camp at least.

Babymouse has a wild imagination. Everything that she was doing at camp, she imagined was bigger and crazier than what was actually happening. This is great for children to see that they can create their own world in their minds and let their imaginations run.

Upon glancing at this book, you will notice that every picture is in black, white, and pink. There are no other colors in the book. The pink is used on the black and white comic book type pages as emphasis. Babymouse's shirt and nightgown are pink and her imagination world are full of pink images. There are a lot of action words and onomatopoeias in the text. Those are great to add to the story and show action in the pictures where other descriptions are missing. This book would be very hard to comprehend without the illustrations.

I thought it was interesting that the book was set up as if the narrator spoke directly to Babymouse and Babymouse answered it's questions. In one scene, a fellow camper asks Babymouse to whom she is talking.

Babymouse is a character that many children will be able to relate with. This book is appropriate for children in 2nd-5th grade.

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