What I Did on My Summer Vacation

As many students go back to school this month, I’m reminded of a typical first day of school activity Show and Tell with the theme “What I did on My Summer Vacation”. So as co-host of the September Kid Lit Blog Hop on Mother Daughter Book Reviews, I thought it was timely to look back on summer vacations as well as share a list of my favorite children’s books about vacation destinations.

When I was a child, summer was spent playing outdoors for hours on end with neighborhood friends, begrudgingly coming home only when starving, exhausted or forced to. While my family didn’t go on exotic trips, we did have a lake cabin and usually visited Seattle (a five hour drive from home) at least once a year. I had a few shells with barnacles on them from the shores of Puget Sound and passed them around the class each year, all through grade school, for the first Show and Tell of the year. Some lucky kids got to hear my barnacle story for eight years in a row!

Here are just some of my favorite Kid Lit Books based in top vacation destinations:


London ABC by Ben Hawkes (United Kingdom)
This is such a fun ABC book to read as an adult or child. Focusing on London landmarks like Hyde Park (H) or Oxford Circus (O), London ABC challenges readers to find other words that start with each letter hidden within the fun retro illustrations. Think hotdog, horse, ostrich and orange all cleverly positioned into classic London scenes. There is even a key at the end so you can check if you’ve found them all.


Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling (India)
This is the story of a pet mongoose named Rikki-Tikki-Tavi who saves a British family recently settled in India by catching a pair of cobras that have moved into their house. Even though the story was a bit frightening, I remember listening to it over and over again as a child. Perhaps it’s the exotic setting or the lovable characters, but I can’t imagine ever tiring of this book.


Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey (USA)
This charming story of a mother duck and her brood, Make Way for Ducklings takes readers around Boston, MA as the ducks find a new home. There is no better souvenir from Boston for a child of any age than this award-winning book published in the 1940s.


Martina Finds a Shiny Coin by Yadhira Gonzalez-Taylor (Puerto Rico)
Martina Finds a Shiny Coin is a wonderful children’s book based on a Carribean folktale. This lovely version tells the story of a young cockroach who lives in a tiny village in Puerto Rico and one day sets out to spend the coin she found while cleaning. The book includes charming watercolor illustrations and a glossary of the Spanish words scattered throughout the text.

Where’s Stripey? by Wendy Binks (Australia)
Where’s Stripey? is a brilliantly illustrated, award-winning picture book about a father Emu entrusted to watch 30 new baby emus. When little Stripey goes missing, an adventure ensues taking readers through the Australian outback and introducing them to a variety of Australian wildlife including kookaburras, koalas, possums and kangaroos.

The list really could go on and on, and in fact, it has on a Goodreads list called Best Travel Books for Kids. I invite everyone to include their own favorites on the list or vote for books already posted.

And don’t forget to join this month’s Kid Lit Blog Hop! Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list.

Happy Hopping!

Kid Lit Blog Hop

12 thoughts on “What I Did on My Summer Vacation

  1. snacksformax

    Hmmm the only time I remember doing a “What did you do over summer vacation” was in fifth grade, but I had an awesome one! My sister and I had competed in the Junior Olympics in New Orleans. Cool memory! Thanks for starting the conversation by sharing with the KLBH 🙂


  2. kimbrap

    Thanks for sharing this list Stephanie, and for co-hosting kid lit blog hop. I’m going to check out a couple of these I hadn’t heard of, and as an Aussie, I’d also include “Are we there yet?” by Alison Lester…our parents sure heard that a lot on our holiday drives.


  3. Rikki Tikki Tavi and the rest of the Junglebook stories were always a favorite summer read! I’d like to add two to the list: “This is Paris” by Miroslav Sasek and “Olivia Goes to Venice” by Ian Falconer.


  4. What a fabulous list and you know, I have never heard of the Aussie book that you have on the list. As an Aussie, I guess I must rectify that immediately. Thanks for joining us on the Kid Lit Blog HOp


  5. Hi Stephanie!
    I grew up next to the Puget Sound (and currently live in the Seattle area) so I’ve done my fair share of barnacle collecting too! This is a great selection of books, based on some truly awesome destinations! Thanks for co-hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop with us this week!


  6. Stephanie, thats an interesting list! I have to say other than “Make way for ducklings” I havent read the other books. I hope to find them at the library. But they look so much fun! thanks for sharing this week on KidLit Bloghop!
    -Reshama @Stackingbooks


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