Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Kids Just Need a Little Imagination

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Kids Just Need a Little Imagination

Article excerpt

Byline: Brandy Hilboldt Allport

HARRY AND CLARE'S AMAZING STAYCATION

Author: Ted Staunton

Illustrator: Mika Song

Data: Tundra Books, $16.99; ages 4 to 8

Harry and Clare remain stuck at home for their vacation. And, it's raining.

They have no exotic locations on tap, no plane trips and no exciting plans.

They must make their own fun. The living room becomes Mars, and they explore. Carefully making their way around the volcanoes, Harry carries the luggage.

Clare, being older, carried the snacks.

"Look out," cried Clare. "Quicksand!" She ate Harry's snack for him since he was busy sinking.

The next day, it's still raining, but the duo rides a racer called Pasta Linguini around the supermarket. Traffic is heavy, and Harry wants to turn left.

"I'm driving" said Clare.

Still, after a dizzying skid through the frozen food section, she lets Harry park them in the checkout line.

"You're too little for one hand," she said. "Use two."

Harry held tight, "I..."

But it was too late, Clare was already eating their granola bars.

The third day, Harry has a hard time at the pool. He plans to be a dolphin, but a pirate queen captures him and makes him walk the plank instead.

That afternoon, while they are playing school, Harry gets sent to the principal's office for trying to eat his snack during class.

After his release from the principal's office, Harry goes downstairs to scavenge for a snack, which he sneaks back up a high mountain that looks a lot like the stairs in Harry and Clare's house.

He hides the cookies in his pocket. At suppertime, Harry tucks away more supplies.

(Luckily, nothing fell from his pockets when he performed on the couch high-wire trapeze trampoline or when Lion Tamer Clare made him jump through hoops.)

On Thursday, the sun finally shines. Harry and Clare decide to go on a treasure hunt in the jungle, which looks a lot like the local park. They ride their kimono dragons (bicycles) past the sleeping hippo in the sandbox. Then they just manage to dodge elephant hummingbirds as they look for buried treasure that is fiercely guarded by a monster octopus.

Harry didn't say a word. …

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