Four neighborhood friends and their parents get together for a special campout.
When twins Jamal and Jada Perkins clean out their garage, they are intrigued to find an old tent. It doesn’t take long for the kids to convince their parents that a campout under the stars will be good fun for them and their best buddies, Josh and Carlita. But before they can enjoy the big night, they find out that another neighbor, Mrs. Mason, has lost her cat and has asked the neighbors to help find her. Four manageable chapters tell the story of the campout and the missing cat. Full-color watercolor illustrations depict an idyllic neighborhood in which the adults and children work together and where children are the center of social life. Josh’s dad plays guitar, Carlita’s mom knows to bring the makings for s’mores, and Mr. and Mrs. Perkins are not shy about leading the way with mom’s ever present whistle and dad’s handyman know-how. The book is geared for newly independent readers, and the number of words per page will be a reachable challenge for those looking for a first chapter book. The text placement on the occasional busy pages makes the spreads feel crowded, and young readers might have trouble deciding the proper reading order.
This friendly, multicultural neighborhood is where many children live…or wish they lived. (Early reader. 6-9)