The family set off on a long journey in their campervan, heading for the beach for the first time.

Imagine never having been to the beach!

‘What does it look like?’ the girl keeps wondering.

I dream the beach looks like this … introduce the quirky dream illustrations of Andrew McLean.

I love the way they stop the campervan at every opportunity for an adventure. McLean’s soft and comical illustrations show idyllic picnics by the river with ducks and sandwiches. They visit farm shops and op shops, fish in the river.

They buy corn on the cob from a farm shop and then Later Dad builds a fire. He puts the corn on the cobs on it in their green leaf coats. When they are ready he takes their coats off, sticks them on a fork and rolls them in butter. Corn-cob ice-creams for everybody!

The book takes us on an idyllic Australian holiday reminding us of the possibilities of the simple adventures on our doorsteps and in the great outdoors.

I can see lots of opportunity for conversations and developing children’s literacy and creativity  with kindergarten and early primary children. Who doesn’t love to talk about their holidays.

Wouldn’t it be great to make corn-cob ice-creams and visit an op shop to try on dress up clothes?

What a great way to put some new foods on the table for the unadventurous eaters by having a picnic and pretending its by the river with the ducks as shown in the illustrations.

You could make a campfire (even a pretend one would do) and sit around it to sing songs.

I love this book and can’t wait to share it with children. It reminds me of some of the simple pleasures of my childhood without being out of date.

I made a secret wish for it always to be holidays.

On Our Way to the Beach - Sofie Laguna

scholastic toolkit for on our way to the beach