Pictures from Our Vacation by Lynne Rae Perkins instantly caught my eye this weekend. Two children running down a dock, wearing bathing suits, at a lake felt like home to me. I grew up in a tiny town where I spent summer days at my grandmother's house on the lake. I was fortunate to live on a hill overlooking the lake. The book begins with a family packing for a summer vacation. The mother gives her daughter and son each a camera that sounds much like a Polaroid camera my other grandmother use to use when I was growing up. There's something magical about peeling the paper off the back and watching the photo appear without being in a dark room. The mother also gives each child a notebook to hold the pictures. This is my kind of mom! The text is involved for emerging readers but the student photo notebook entries are great models for writing. There is a photo and one sentence about the picture. The text is a good read aloud and I found myself enjoying the memories the dad shares with his children of places around the family farm. It's interesting to find out the family is actually there for the funeral of a great aunt. As the children look at their memory books they made, they realize their photos don't really remind them of much. The photos were often of random things that seemed important as little children do. I'm hoping to find some time this summer to spend on a lake and make sure my girls have a camera in hand.