JUNE 25:

  • Best birthday wishes to Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar; Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? ).
  • It’s the birth date of Elizabeth Orton Jones (1910-2005), Prayer for a Child.
  • In 1788, Virginia becomes the 10th state to ratify the United States Constitution. Read A Little Maid of Virginia by Alice Turner Curtis.
  • In 1967, The Beatles perform a new song, “All You Need Is Love,” during a live international telecast. Read The Man Who Loved Clowns by June Rae Wood.
  • It’s National Catfish Day. Read Kidnap at the Catfish CafĂ© by Patricia Reilly Giff, illustrated by Lynne Cravath, and Catfish Kate and the Sweet Swamp Band by Sarah Weeks, illustrated by Elwood Smith.

During the month of June, the National Wildlife Federation has been promoting the joys of camping. They advocate camping on any day in June and want everyone to participate in the pleasures of singing songs around an open fire, toasting s’mores, looking at the stars at night, and experiencing the joys of camping.

The hero of our book for this day, Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters, is going camping with his father in a few days. Alvin isn’t wildly enthusiastic. Born scared, young Alvin doesn’t have any pleasant associations with the idea of camping. He bears an amazing resemblance, in fact, to Melanie Watts’s Scaredy Squirrel. He can always see what might go wrong in any situation –flash floods, meteorites, pit toilets. He writes notes: “How to avoid a bear attack. Don’t go camping. Do go anywhere near a camp. Don’t even think of camping.” However, his father persists in camping enthusiasm, so Alvin turns to his older brother Calvin and his uncle Dennis for help in assembling a truckload of equipment that will save him from disaster — generators, GPS machines, and loads of dangle traps. However, a few things go awry that Alvin hasn’t planned for: his sister Anibelly gets included at the last minute; they forget the food and can openers; and the wonderful dangle trap unfortunately captures Alvin’s father hanging him upside down from a tree.

In Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters, comic genius Lenore Look shows readers a slightly different side of camping than the one advocated by the National Wildlife Federation. However, at the end of the day, Alvin and his family do spend a magic night under the stars and exchange some important words: “I love you, son” and “I love you, Dad.” Now that makes even natural disasters worthwhile.

So before you go camping, you might want to get some tips from Alvin Ho. Reading the book, ideal for six- to ten-year-olds, will make your own campout experience seem mild in comparison.

Here’s a passage from Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters:


Originally posted June 25, 2011. Updated for .

Tags: Nature
Instructional materials from TeachingBooks.net for Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters


  1. Bookjeannie says:

    Oh, Anita, looks like you’ve introduced us to another gem. Can’t wait to read it!

  2. Anita says:

    You will enjoy this — a lot of fun.

  3. Joy Chu says:

    I adored this book — several passages had me laughing out loud — such that I was bereft when it was over. Lenore has created a lovable worry wart, surrounded by a lively family. And oh, that Anibelly, my hero(ine)!

  4. lenorelook says:

    Hi Anita! Thanks so much for including Alvin in your wonderful almanac! Especially on the day of the Great American Backyard Campout! Hope you’re enjoying your summer! xxoo

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