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Children's Fiction Camping & Outdoor Activities

The Not-So Great Outdoors

by (author) Madeline Kloepper

Initial publish date
May 2019
Camping & Outdoor Activities, Country Life, Environment
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2019
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 7
  • Grade: p to 2


A reluctant camper discovers that the (not-so) great outdoors can be just as exciting as screens and skyscrapers in this playful picture book celebration of the pleasures of unplugging and embracing nature.

What's so great about the "great outdoors"? A grumpy urban kid begrudgingly accompanies her family on a summer camping trip, missing all the sublime sights right under her nose as she longs for the lights and stimulation of the city. But as she explores forests, lakes and mountains, and encounters bears, beavers and caribou, she slowly comes to realize that the simpler things are just as sparkly, that the sky is its own majestic light show, and the symphony is all around. The Not-So Great Outdoors is a humorous and richly imagined reminder of the beauty and magic that can be found away from the city and our screens.

About the author

Madeline Kloepper is a Canadian artist who has a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in illustration from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Although she grew up in the lower mainland of British Columbia amidst a sea of humans and spent a few years in Vancouver, she has since migrated northward to Prince George. Madeline’s work is influenced by childhood, nostalgia and the relationships we forge with nature. She has also illustrated Little Blue Chair by Cary Fagan.

Madeline Kloepper's profile page

Editorial Reviews

On Quill & Quire’s Kidlit Spring Preview 2019, Picture Books
One of the New York Public Library's Best Books for Kids 2019
PRAISE FOR The Not-So Great Outdoors:
“Watching this protagonist’s reluctant change of heart won’t get old; neither will the beckoning scenes of the great outdoors.” --Kirkus Reviews
“The book has a clever and convincing structure … Kloepper’s color palette is gorgeous and deep.” --Imaginary Elevators
“The illustrations take up a full spread of pages and are so lush and enticing that they will make even the most staunch opponent of the outdoors agree that nature can still be beautiful and appealing.” --CM Magazine 

“This is an unexpected love letter to nature that explicitly encourages children to consider the relationship between text and pictures.” --Quill & Quire
“The illustrations are intricate and beautifully done. This book will appeal to a niche group who appreciate detailed drawings to help tell the story.” --School Library Journal
“It makes for an entertaining game of I spy if one looks for the items on each page . . . . The story inspires children to appreciate nature.” --Resource Links

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