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CHANDLER, AZ (July, 2020) - The judges of the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards contest, which recognizes excellence in children's literature, have spoken, and "The Tent Mouse and the RV Mouse" by Loretta Sponsler, won 2nd Place in the Outdoor Recreation category.
FCRV International Camping Club gathers together to share with all campers/RVers, the Family Campers & RVers fun, friendship, fellowship and family feelings of camping together and to promote and enhance the experience and enjoyment of recreational family type camping/ RVing. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the 2020 Campvention went virtual. More details below:
"The True North Strong & Free" 2020 Virtual Campvention page:
Kids' Camping Books author Loretta Sponsler participates in the 2020 Campvention with virtual storytimes of her two children's camping books.
"The Tent Mouse and the RV Mouse" storytime (available for a limited time)
"Goodnight, Campsite" storytime (Available for a limited time)
"Two mouse cousins disagree about the best way to camp in this picture book.
Thomas Tent-Mouse and his cousin Harvey RV-Mouse both enjoy outdoor fun, but each believes that his is “the only way to camp.” When Thomas invites Harvey on a trip, he says they’ll be fine. Harvey doubts this, “but he loved his cousin so he agreed.” By day, they have a delightful time, but Harvey is nervous hearing all the night noises, and the tent leaks on him during a rainstorm. On their next trip, Thomas agrees to do it Harvey’s way because he also loves his cousin. They have wonderful adventures, but at night, Thomas feels cut off from nature, even when it rains. Finally, the cousins agree that during their next escapade, Thomas will stay in his tent and Harvey in his RV, and they’ll both have a good time. Sponsler, as in her first book, Goodnight, Campsite (2015), helps prepare kids for the outdoor experience here. More than that, the tale celebrates friendship and acknowledges that tastes vary: “It’s okay to like different things.” The story charms through effective repetition, evocative writing, and appreciation for nature. Gutkovskiy provides lovely, skillful ink-and-watercolor illustrations full of expression and appealing details.
An affirming animal tale with engaging writing and lovable characters."
Do you need At-Home Activities to keep your children busy? Looking for a New Picture Book? Have kids who love the outdoors and camping? Awesome! I’ve got you covered.
Please check out our latest book, “The Tent Mouse and the RV Mouse” which is a modern version of Aesop's fable "The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse." Perfect gift for an RV Family!
Need free printable activities? Download the book’s Discussion & Activity Guide. The guide features:
Printing it? Discussion on pages 3,4. Activities on pages 6,8,9,10,11,12. (These activities are designed for Kindergarten and 1st Grade, but they can work for younger and older kids, although probably not past 3rd grade.)
Happy Reading! Happy Camping (we hope soon anyway)!
Our eBooks are always free with Kindle Unlimited, or you can buy the printed versions.
" ‘The Tent Mouse and the RV Mouse’ by Loretta Sponsler is a great book for any audience, especially if you are a fan of the original Aesop fable.
It re-tells the story based on the Aesop fable ‘The City Mouse and the Country Mouse’ where Thomas Tent-Mouse and Harvey RV-Mouse both like camping, but in different ways and that's okay.
The story begins with Thomas Tent-Mouse as he is getting ready for his first camping trip of the year. Thomas thinks it would be fun to invite his cousin, Harvey RV-Mouse, to go with him. The two cousins first go camping in a tent, but Harvey doesn't like it much because afraid of what could eat him. Two weeks later they go camping in Harvey's RV, but Thomas does not enjoy it because he feels that he is not connected to nature and that he has never left home. "
Read the full book review on the Ditching Suburbia blog.
A modern twist on Aesop’s fable, The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. While Thomas Tent-Mouse loves to camp in his tent where he feels connected to nature, his cousin Harvey RV-Mouse loves to camp in his RV where he feels safe. Adventure awaits these outdoor-loving cousins, as they learn that it’s okay to like different things.
The perfect gift for RVers, especially those looking for kids camping books or camping books for toddlers.
Fans of A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee, Llama Llama Loves Camping, and Curious George Goes Camping will love this camping book.
Easy to follow storyline, beautiful illustrations, and likable characters – combined with a lesson that preferences differ. Strengthen the love for books and camping with this lovable story and rich illustrations.
FREE Discussion/Activity Guide at https://kidscampingbooks.com/free-activities.
Common Core State Standards-Aligned Discussion/Activity Guide for Grades K-1
Extend the discussion with a “Compare and Contrast” lesson among Aesop’s fable, The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, and Beatrix Potter’s, The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse.
We know there are lots of children's books about camping out there, and we are honored that you are considering The Tent Mouse and the RV Mouse. Needing RV Gifts? Our books make great gifts for RV owners.
Read more at Book of the Month Club.
Can you tell us a little about Thomas and Harvey?
My story was inspired by Aesop’s fable “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse.” It was also inspired by Beatrix Potter’s “The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse,” which also looks at two mice who prefer different things.
While these two classic stories focus on a debate between living in a town versus living in the country, my story centers around camping. While Thomas Tent-Mouse loves to camp in his tent where he feels connected to nature, his cousin Harvey RV-Mouse loves to camp in his RV where he feels safe. Adventure awaits these outdoor-loving cousins, as they learn that it’s okay to like different things.
What inspired you when writing The Tent Mouse and The RV Mouse?
My favorite time of the day is when I finally sit still on the couch, my children crowed around me, reading a picture book. We delight in the words and the images. We delight in being together. I see their eyes sparkle, hear their laughter, feel them snuggle a little closer.
Children’s books are simply magical, and I want to be part of that magic! I want to be among the authors whose stories I love. I want to create new stories, dream up characters, write books worthy of snuggling on couches.
How did you come up with the story in The Tent Mouse and The RV Mouse?
We are avid campers, spending as much of the summer as we can exploring nature and camping in our RV. I have noticed over the years, that there seems to be a division between those who choose to camp in tents and those who choose to camp in RVs. It reminded me of “The Town Mouse and the Counry Mouse” story. The idea was planted, and it grew into this book.
Spring is just around the corner, and the great outdoors will be calling people out for travel, camping and adventuring in an RV. I have found the perfect picture book to introduce your child to the camping experience and get them ready for their next family adventure. Loretta Sponsler is a mother of three boys. She enjoys RV camping with her family. When she looked for a book about RV camping for her kids, she couldn’t find one. So, she wrote “The Tent Mouse and the RV Mouse”. It is a modern twist on the old Aesop’s Fable. I had a chance to talk to Loretta about her memories of reading as a kid and why she enjoys writing for children.
What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?
Loretta Sponsler: My favorite books as a child were the collections by Shel Silverstein. I loved his wacky take on things, the rhythm of his words, and his illustrations. Such talent! I was hooked as a child.
What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?
Loretta Sponsler: I love to write about camping, where my family connects with nature and with one another. We explore and learn in the great outdoors. We roast marshmallows over a campfire and tell stories and sing songs. Camping (and nature in general) offers endless subject areas for books. My hope is that I create books that both children and adults will love.
Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.
Loretta Sponsler: As a mom to three busy boys, a routine is sometimes hard to find. However, I try to commit to sitting at my desk and just writing for a chunk of time at least four days a week. I aim for three-hour blocks of uninterrupted time. There are always millions of distractions and side projects that draw my time, so that focused-writing time is valuable.
Full interview at https://crystalkeeper.wordpress.com/
The Tent Mouse and The RV Mouse looks like a cute children’s book with beautiful illustrations. Any plans to turn it into a series?
Thank you so much! Kathrine Gutkovskiy is a very talented illustrator, and I feel so blessed to have her on this project. Kathrine has created two of the cutiest mice characters ever in children’s literature. Whenever I read in classrooms, the children just love Thomas and Harvey and all their adventures.
Kathrine and I have talked about growing the story and the characters into a series. We were brainstorming ideas for a Halloween or Christmas book. At this stage, we only have ideas – but ideas are where all good stories start.
Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing The Tent Mouse and The RV Mouse?
In the great “Tent vs. RV” debate, I didn’t want to give more weight to one side, but wanted to present the two camping styles as equally good options. I used to camp in a tent when I was younger, and I have great memories from these times. I now camp in an RV, and I love it! I’m an RV Mouse for sure, but I didn’t want my current preference to come through in the book. Knowing my personal biasis, I took care choosing my words so that they did not lean one way or the other, but let the reader see the two camping styles as simply differences of opinions, and see that it’s okay to like different things.
Big thanks to the children's literature, outdoor parenting, and camping communities for your support.
The perfect gift for RVers, especially those looking for kids camping books or camping books for toddlers.
Author Loretta Sponsler at Round Lake Books in Michigan
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