This epistolary picture book tells the story of a boy's first summer at camp, with interactive features that begin on the title page with a foldout supply list for Camp Woodland. In alternating cards and letters, Michael complains about camp life, while his father, Harry, responds with reassurances. The creative details are entertaining and engaging. Harry sends Michael a handmade postcard with a patent-pending design fo. The Never Leaky Camp Raincoat Suit. Michael responds with a handcrafted ransom note, decorated with forbidding photos of Marilyn Manson and King Kong. Taback's use of color echoes the story's varying moods: Michael's complaints appear against muddy greens and rainy blues, while his father's bolstering replies are set on sunnier oranges and reds. Then, Michael sends a final, bright-purple card to his new camp BFFs. Though the removable pieces pose circulation challenges, the humorous, tender story of a boy's first time away from home and his affectionate connections to his father make this an appealing package suited for any library.--Barthelmess, Tho. Copyright 2010 Booklist
Using postcards and removable letters, Taback depicts a boy's first time at sleep-away camp through correspondence with his father, Harry. It's easy to see where Michael gets his imagination: when he pleads for his father to save him from his six-armed alien camp counselor, Harry sends a photo-collage postcard depicting desperate urbanites leaning out of windows, a New York Times headline announcing, "Big Heat Wave Grips City: Kids Stay at Camp." Harry's responses are consistently encouraging, positive, and funny, and Michael gradually acclimates to-and even enjoys-his time at camp. Those nervous about camp will relate to Michael's hyperbolic anxieties while treasuring his father's reassurances and good humor. All ages. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Gr 2-5-Drawing on the common feelings of trepidation and adjustment that first-time campers experience, Taback has created a fun story told through postcards and letters sent between home and camp. He uses the epistolary format to expand his familiar illustration style, with drawings, collage elements, real envelopes, and removable letters creating a work of art that readers will want to pore over. Including plenty of puns, the book has reluctant-reader appeal, although struggling readers may be challenged by the handwritten portions of text. Each page shows the front of an envelope or postcard, with the reverse page showing the back of each piece of mail-all showcasing Taback's colorful frenetic style and inherent humor. In this book, the medium is the message. It's a wonderful gift book for Taback fans and kids who are interested in camp, but the removable pieces pose problems for libraries without an in-house collection of toy books.-Anna Haase Krueger, Antigo Public Library, WI (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.