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.
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:
- Go to the Santa Cruz public library, central branch. Go directly up the stairs, past the origami paper cranes and “READING IS FUN!” banner.
- Plant yourself among the picture books.
- Pull every interesting book off the shelves. Check them all out.
- 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.
- Find a sunny spot, breathe deeply, and get to readin’ and eatin’.
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.
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?