The Moonlit Campout by Ruth Symons

The Moonlit Campout – at a glance

The School Reading Lists’ five word review: Night time inspiration for all!
Children’s book title: Mrs Owl’s Forest School: The Moonlit Campout.
Children’s author: Ruth Symons.
Children’s illustrator: Sebastien Braun.
Genre: Picture book.
Published by: Templar Books.
ISBN: 9781800785809.
Recommended for children aged: 0-5 year-olds.
First published: Paperback May 2024.
This children’s book is ideal for: Sharing with the very young as a way of introducing them to things that happen in the dark.

The Moonlit Campout by Ruth Symons

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Our review:

The Moonlit Campout is a very gentle introduction to the night-time world for your youngest readers. The format is a little unusual as the story itself is interrupted frequently by little asides in the form of activities to try, definitions and examples of new terminology, or lists and warnings to ensure that activities are safe. That said, given that the text is aimed at your youngest readers, it is perhaps an advantage that the story is split up into bite-size chunks.

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For schools or settings that participate in Forest School learning, this would be an ideal support text – encouraging discussion around what happens in our environment after dark, encouraging pupils to use their senses, or promoting discussion around activities we can participate in after dark and how to ensure this is safe.

The book would also be an effective way of opening up discussions with very young children about their fears and how these can be managed or supported by a friend. There are also simple suggestions of activities to support further learning such as recipes for cooking outdoors, information on constellations and practical guidance on how to build a fire.

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As a stand-alone story there are probably other texts, both about woodlands and the dark, that educators might prefer but as part of a Forest School collection or to support wider collections for specific topics The Moonlit Campout would fit in well.

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Our verdict:

Aimed at nursery, EYFS and perhaps Forest School groups, The Moonlit Campout would be a suitable text to support a topic on the dark. It would also be a good way of opening up early conversations around the things that scare us, as one character is afraid of the dark.

Many thanks to Templar Books for the review copy.

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If you like The Moonlit Campout by Ruth Symons you might also like: It Starts With a Seed by Laura Knowles, Welcome to Our Table by Laura Mucha, A Place Called Home by Kate Baker and Sometimes I Feel by Sarah Maycock.

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About Anna Rushall

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A passionate advocate for English, having taught all year groups across the primary phase and led English for much of the last twenty years, Anna is now using her lifelong enthusiasm for literature to support schools with their English provision on a consultancy basis. LinkedIn | Twitter/X | Reviews by Anna Rushall