Last year, my mom gave me Read All About It! by Laura Bush and her daughter Jenna Bush Hager. I absolutely loved that book and the fun illustrations. This year, my mom gave me the Bush ladies' most recent venture in the world of children's books, and what a great follow-up it is!
In Read All About It!, a young boy named Tyrone learns to love reading because of a faithful teacher who is committed to reading aloud in class. In Our Great Big Bakyard, we meet a girl named Jane who is excited to spend her summer vacation watching movies, surfing the web, and playing video games....until her parents reveal that the whole family will be taking a Great American Roadtrip to several of the National Parks around the country. Jane is convinced that her summer is ruined and she'll have the worst time of her life.
At first, Jane does her best to stay connected to her friends through texting and e-mailing and playing games on her iPad, but gradually, she starts to have the time of her life with her little brother camping under the stars, riding a mule down into the Grand Canyon, white-water rafting, exploring Yellowstone National Park, and seeing Old Faithful erupt (among other things). By the end of the trip, she can't even find her iPad and sends her friends a hand-written postcard. *GASP* When the family arrives home, Jane has all her friends over for a backyard camp-out to tell them all about her adventures, and they discover the beauty right at home in their own backyard.
Not only did I love this book because it encourages families to shut off their screens and explore the world around them together, but it also encourages kids to use their imaginations. At the Grand Canyon, Jane and her brother pretend to be acrobats on a tightrope tip-toeing across the Skywalk. When they went rafting down the Colorado River, they were pirates, and in Yellowstone they became park rangers.
To top it off, in the back of the book the National Parks are listed by state with helpful resources that will direct you to a National Park nearest to where you live. How great is that?! My parents drove us 4 kids all over the country while we were growing up and some of my favorite memories are from visiting National Parks in the grand ole U S of A.
Definitely grab yourself a copy of this book. I loved it and can't wait to see what's next from Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager!
Have you been to any National Parks? Which of the ones you've been to is your favorite and why? Which National Parks are your dream destination? My most recent American Adventure included the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri with my dad.