An Afternoon with Nest and Ugly Fish

I’m not going to lie to you–this book is not nearly as scary as the cover makes it seem.

Ropes training for camp starts next week, so I’m doing my best to wring every drop of summer freedom from the unscheduled weekdays until then.  Yesterday, Nest had the day off from the art supply store, so we tried to cram as many favorite activities into our Wednesday as possible.

The full spread! I read every single one. Good thing I studied literature for 6 years, or I might not have been able to do that.

We started the day with a hike through the Pogonip, which is not only a fun word to say, but a gorgeous place to explore.  Then we ambled downtown for one of our most favorite traditions, which can be accomplished in just 5 easy steps:

  1. Go to the Santa Cruz public library, central branch. Go directly up the stairs, past the origami paper cranes and “READING IS FUN!” banner.
  2. Plant yourself among the picture books.
  3. Pull every interesting book off the shelves.  Check them all out.
  4. Gather the necessary treats for a warm weather picnic—think rose lemonade and sarsaparilla in glass bottles, fresh veggie sandwiches, salt & vinegar chips, and dark chocolate squares.
  5. Find a sunny spot, breathe deeply, and get to readin’ and eatin’.

Nest, captured mid-bite!

I don’t remember how many years we’ve been doing this, but a day spent reading children’s books in the sun is never less than fantastic.  We reread old favorites like Yummers! by James Marshall and the Martha Speaks series, and discovered new gems like Kara LaReau’s surprising Ugly Fish and the beautifully illustrated Salmon Creek by Annette LeBox.  LeBox’s book might have been the hit of the afternoon.  Nest and I are strangely obsessed with salmon and we were both as enthralled with Salmon Creek as kindergarteners during storytime.

Nest with Salmon Creek. Spoiler alert: the salmon do a LOT of swimming.

What are your favorite children’s books?  When was the last time you read An Extraordinary Egg by Leo Lionni?  Aren’t public libraries the greatest places on the planet?

Another reason that Nest and I have been friends since 2nd grade: we both celebrate Halloween multiple times a year.

Nest’s perfect thrifted bag and a sammie from Zocc’s.

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6 thoughts on “An Afternoon with Nest and Ugly Fish

  1. My favorite childrens’ book for my kids is (I cannot remember the exact name) the one that tackled those hard-hitting topics such as “what makes up ear wax?” “why do farts stink?” and my personal favorite, “what are boogers made of?” Hey, now that I think about it…didn’t the Kirks give us that literary masterpiece????

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