The weather is warming up and man’s desire to reconnect with nature through camping and national park visits is in full swing. In a new picture book from Disney Hyperion, the animals you visit in the wild every summer decide to turn the tables and visit your home while you’re out. Hilarity ensues within the pages of The Great Indoors by Julie Falatko and Ruth Chan.

“The bears always arrived first,” the story begins as a series of animals move into your house for the summer and begin to take over every room, even the bathroom. Humans go to nature for some peace and quiet, so animals go to your home for some all night parties and to make a lot of noise. They also enjoy the simple pleasures, like instantly turning on lights, and nestle by the warm glow of a television set. But at a certain point, the novelty wears off and they long for the creature comforts of their wild habitat.

The story is so cute and charming, flipping a summer camping excursion on its head by reversing the roles. The cartoony animal illustrations by Ruth Chan reveal a lot of silly details and will bring a simultaneous smile to the faces of kids and parents. My favorite illustration involves a skunk who has had too much coffee and is wired beyond belief.

Whether you go on annual camping trips, or simply enjoy summer outings at public parks or walking trails, you and your kids are bound to understand the experience the animals go through while visiting a world that they aren’t as connected with every day. It’s also a nice reminder that we should strive for a better balance in our daily lives and learn to appreciate and enjoy the natural wonders around us.

The Great Indoors is pure reading time fun. The tagline on the front cover gives a great indication of the kind of fun in store for readers: “There’s no place like someone else’s home.”



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