The Geisel Award–winning sibling duo returns in their fourth adventure, this time in the great outdoors.
Series fans will be thrilled to follow Charlie and Mouse’s first adventure beyond their neighborhood. This gently humorous story captures familiar elements of a family camping trip, starting with the boring car ride, moving on to an eventful (and sometimes scary!) hike, followed by playing inside the tent, and a fireside cuddle with Dad and Mom while munching on burned marshmallows. The cast here is reduced to just family members, but the siblings’ fantastic imaginations fill the void with creatures both real and make-believe. The strong sibling connection takes center stage in every chapter, with Charlie providing comfort and entertainment for his little brother using his expansive storytelling skills. Similarly, the dialogue and action focus on the boys, with parental reassurance and mild exasperation depicted mostly visually. Page layouts are composed deliberately, marrying words and pictures to support developing readers. The white space surrounding each line of text is ample, and illustrations, placed just so against the crisp white pages, provide contextual support. Word and sentence repetition is woven seamlessly into the narrative, allowing readers to gain confidence and mastery over new vocabulary, while Hughes’ soft-hued, detailed illustrations deftly navigate between real and imaginary worlds. Charlie and Mouse are biracial, with an Asian dad and white mom.
Whether their first or fourth outing with these winning sibs, kids will savor this supportive read. (Early reader. 6-9)