Astrid & Apollo and the Starry Campout by V. T. Bidania, illustrated by Dara Lashia Lee

Published by Capstone

Astrid and Apollo and the Starry Campout: Bidania, V.T., Lee, Dara Lashia:  9781515861317: Books

Summary:  Astrid and Apollo are getting ready to go camping with their parents and little sister Eliana.  Apollo is excited, but Astrid is nervous, having heard horror stories from a cousin about mosquitoes, bears, and nasty toilets.  When they arrive, though, Astrid finds a lot to enjoy as the family makes a campfire, cooks dinner, then watches the stars come out.  Even the dark tent seems cozy, and she’s ready to fall asleep when she hears a scratching sound outside.  The whole family goes out to investigate.  They find a group of raccoons, and Astrid shines her flashlight at them, scaring them away.  The next morning, she learns an important lesson about food storage when she discovers the raccoons stole their sausages, but fortunately Mom brought ingredients for her famous egg rolls.  Astrid discovers that camping is fun and an adventure.  Includes facts about the Hmong, popular Hmong foods, a glossary, and prompts for discussion and writing.  64 pages; grades 1-3.

Pros:  Kids will enjoy getting to know Astrid and Apollo and their Hmong family in this series opener.  The full-color anime-inspired illustrations help move the story along, and it looks like more aspects of the Hmong culture are explored in later books.

Cons:  The story was pretty run-of-the-mill.

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