Family vacations are always an adventure. From sibling squabbles to missed flights and exits, travel with kids is rarely drama-free. But making one quick pre-vacation trip to the library or bookstore could make all the difference. Bring a good selection of books along and you just might find yourself with quietly distracted kids, giving you a rare opportunity to relax. Whether you’ll be spending your March break on the beach in Florida or the slopes in Maine, this month’s recommendations are all about getting there. But no guarantees on that quiet time.
Cars and Trucks from A to Z by Richard Scarry
Entertain babies and toddlers alike with this fun and silly alphabet book that’s all about vehicles. Not just ordinary vehicles, though—this book includes bananamobiles, bugdozers and zippermobiles. As fun to look at as it is to read, this is an ideal board book to bring along in the carry-on.
Toot & Puddle: Top of the World by Hollie Hobbie
When Puddle’s best friend Toot doesn’t return from his walk one day, Puddle knows it’s up to him to track him down. After an unproductive search in the woods, he decides to put himself in Toot’s shoes. He follows a series of hunches that result in a train ride and a plane ride and finally, Puddle lands in Provence and joyfully reunites with Toot. This is a great story about how sometimes unplanned vacations are the best kind.
The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson, Illustrated by Axel Scheffler
This is the story of a snail that longed to see the world. After spending his quiet life sitting on a rock with the other snails, he decides to hitch a ride. One night, a whale picks him up and they travel the world, through stormy seas and thunderstorms, past icebergs and palm trees. Until one day, when the whale washes up on the beach and it’s up to the snail to save him. Young readers will cheer as an elementary school comes to his rescue.
Follow That Map!: A First Book of Mapping Skills by Scot Ritchie
Follow That Map is a great introduction to understanding maps. From using a legend to understanding topographical maps, this book teaches readers all the basics. Even young children will be engaged by the colourful illustrations and fun activities. And because the book uses scenarios that children can relate to, it’s an easy, entertaining way to teach mapping skills for the first time.
Sarah Sawler lives in St Margarets Bay, N.S., with her partner and her two boys. A love of reading has inspired her career in magazine and web writing, as well as her new website and blog www.booksbetweenthelines.ca