The Simples Love a Picnic by J.C. Phillipps

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The Simples Love a Picnic by J.C. Phillips (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, May 2014) is so much fun! It is a story of a family going on a picnic in the park. But of course, parks have lots of undesirables…squirrels, ants, and too many people playing sports. This was a picnic trip that I could relate to: our family tends to have disastrous types of picnic adventures too.

I love the cut paper/collage look of the illustrations in this book; I’m a big fan of J.C. Phillipps’ style. The whimsical look of the illustrations gives such a sense of play to the whole story. I also love how it is in the present tense. I am not a fan of present-tense stories, but in this book, it works wonderfully. We don’t know what adventures await this Simple family, so having the present tense is simply great.

My son (age 6) thought The Simples Love a Picnic was a lot of fun to read. My daughter (age 2), asked for repeated readings. She loved pointing out things in the pictures, finding familiar items, and screeching “aaaah!” whenever something went wrong. I don’t want to give up too much so I’ll just leave it at that.

Let’s just say that I hope we get to join the Simples on more adventures someday. My kids and I will definitely look forward to it.