Vacation Pictures

July 10, 2009

My eye was drawn to the title during this summer break, Pictures from Our Vacation.  Pictures are so fun to take, and vacations are packed with memories.  Lynne Rae Perkins creates a seasonal sensation that you can use with your kids at any time of the year.  The story begins with a family getting ready to go on vacation.  The mother hands her two kids a notebook and small camera to record their memories.

They will be souvenirs of our vacation,” she said.

Pictures from Our Vacation [PICT FROM OUR VACATION]Throughout the book, you will notice a small notebook with a quick record of the kids’ thoughts and memories.

I also love the way she creates mental pictures of their thought-shots.  This visualization could be used during a reading lesson to show how the kids have a movie in their head of what they are thinking, just like readers have thoughts in their head during a text.

The other unique skill that I have not found in many books is map reading.  Lynne sprinkles in maps of the journey with a map key.  What a fun way to build background when teaching map skills to kids!  Plus, kids could make their own maps based on the ones illustrated in this narrative.

Savorings for reading and writing for Pictures from Our Vacation:

  • Thought-shots – front page begins the visualizing from each person as they enter the family car
  • Life-like feelings – Lynne captures a person’s feelings of anticipation, boredom, day dreaming
  • Perspective – “Our dad saw happy memories everywhere he looked.  All we could see was old furniture and dust.”
  • Where writing ideas come from – “And it’s hard to take a picture of a story someone tells or what it feels like when you’re rolling down a hill or falling asleep in a house full of cousins and uncles and aunts.  There are a lot of things like that.  But those kinds of pictures I can keep in my mind.”