Several countries, towns, and neighborhoods around the world celebrate official Picnic Days in July. Even in a year when attending a big outdoor gathering might not work well, you can still have a variety of picnic events on a smaller scale. Pack a basket or a paper bag, take a tablecloth or a towel to a park, to your own backyard or porch, or even your living room floor, and enjoy a July picnic. Besides the food, be sure to pack a good book or three to share between courses.
Readers To Eaters can guide you through the process of making and baking
sourdough. Not only can you get ready for a future picnic with the assistance of Kim Binczewski, Bethany Econopouly, and illustrator Hayelin Choi’s Bread Lab, you can enjoy the idea of breadmaking chemistry replicating a picnic scene among the microbes that help to form sourdough starter.
In a hurry to get on with your picnic? Pack along Gecko Press’s new edition of Selma, by Jutta Bauer. This is a sheep who models the joys of simplicity, tempted neither to hurry through her day nor change its activities even if offered more time, money, or other supposed attraction. Maybe after the picnic meal is eaten, you and your co-picnickers can settle into discovering how, like Selma, a gentle pace can be pleasing.
If you’ve had the opportunity to take your picnic outdoors, you may have a variety of tiny visitors, including ants and, of course, flies. If this seems a likely part of your picnic, pack along Cicada Books’ Fly Flies, by Ziggy Hanaor and Alice Bowsher, and see how many flight patterns you can find matched in your own picnic surroundings.
If you want to plan your picnic ahead of the special day, Floris Books has a lot of picnic-worthy suggestions, including recipes for kid-friendly outdoor meals. Even if you and yours won’t be preparing these specific dishes, you’ll find inspiration for including some of your own warm weather treats in this recent blog post. You don’t need to limit your picnic time to daylight, especially when July nights can be too warm for sleep to come readily. Take a cue from the family in Floris Books’ The Night Walk, by Marie Dorléans, and bring along a snack to share before turning back home.
How about preparing a pretend picnic to share with your household’s assortment of toys? Child’s Play Books publishes a new series – “Rosa’s Workshop” by Jessica Spanyol – featuring activities that are rich in exploration and learning opportunities just right for preschoolers. In Rosa’s Big Pizza Experiment, everyone gets to discover aspects of food preparation, including lining up ingredients and creating something completely new (pizza!) from them. Right now you can download a copy of this one from NetGalley. And if you go to Child’s Play’s website, you’ll find a packet of activities to extend Rosa’s discoveries by preparing a paper pizza (and more) for local stuffed animals to enjoy in repeated picnic “outings” to different locations in your home.
Enjoy July with your own picnic and remember to feed hungry minds and imaginations as well as tummies by making room in your basket for books, too!