Summer Holidays 1:In Children’s Books

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At the Sea-Side
by Robert Louis Stevenson

When I was down beside the sea
A wooden spade they gave to me
To dig the sandy shore.

My holes were empty like a cup.
In every hole the sea came up,
Till it could come no more.

Bed in Summer
by Robert Louis Stevenson

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

Summer Sun
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.

The dusty attic spider-clad
He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
And through the broken edge of tiles
Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look
Among the ivy's inmost nook.

Above the hills, along the blue,
Round the bright air with footing true,
To please the child, to paint the rose,
The gardener of the World, he goes.

When the summer holidays/vacation comes …..

There is a great sense of freedom, an endless horizon of sunny days, and unknown adventures awaiting. In children’s books, many of the characters spend their time trying to get away from the routine and restrictions of the adult world and young readers enjoy this idea and want to be like the children in the books.

‘The early master of the kids-go-on-an-adventure romp is surely Enid Blyton.’


Of 21 adventures, eight of them happen during the summer holidays.

Five on a Treasure IslandFive Fall Into AdventureFive Run Away Together and Five Have Plenty of Fun all take place at Kirrin and so there’s plenty of bathing, boating and ice-creams when the Five aren’t too busy embroiled in adventures.’


Summer is perhaps a little subdued in The Island of Adventure thanks to the Isle of Gloom and all the mist around it though there is some bathing, sailing and swimming as the weather is generally better around the coast of Craggy Tops. In fact it’s hot enough for clothes to steam dry on the rocks.’

Find out more by clicking on the link below

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

‘Summer holidays don’t get better than this! An innocent adventure story
with lots of detailed descriptions on how to sail a boat and survive on an
island for a few days – providing you have helpful, understanding adults not
far away. Apart from the technical sailing vocabulary, the language is fairly
simple and accessible and the story will be enjoyed by both boys and girls.’

For some useful notes for teachers and parents click on the link below


And on the lake they had seen the island. All four of them had been
been filled at once with the same idea. It was not just an island. It was
the island, waiting for them. It was their island. With an island like
that within sight, who could be content to sleep in a bed at night?

Author Jon Sparks ( says:

‘Some moments stay with you. I clearly remember the first time I read Swallows and Amazons. I must have been about nine and I’d been dragged along to a wedding. To stop me expiring from boredom during the speeches, dancing and so on, my mother handed me a paperback. I sat in a corner out of the way and was rapidly enthralled, in a world that was at once familiar and utterly new.

I already knew the Lake District, but now I saw it in new ways. I had never sailed, or camped on an island, or hunted for pirate treasure. The landscape I knew was transformed because the children in the story did all these things, and it was transformed further through their imagination, which made the lake into an ocean, oak-woods into jungle, Coniston Old Man into a Himalayan giant.’

What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge…Sometimes the Holidays Take a Turn We Didn’t Expect…

‘”Isn’t it splendid to have vacation come?” said one of the bigger girls. “What are you all going to do? We’re going to the sea-side.”

“Pa says he’ll take Susie and me to Niagara,” said Maria.

“I’m going to make my aunt a visit,” said Alice Blair. “She lives in a real lovely place in the country, and there’s a pond there; and Tom (that’s my cousin) says he’ll teach me to row. What are you going to do, Katy?”

“Oh, I don’t know; play round and have splendid times,” replied Katy, throwing her bag of books into the air, and catching it again. But the other girls looked as if they didn’t think this good fun at all, and as if they were sorry for her; and Katy felt suddenly that her vacation wasn’t going to be so pleasant as that of the rest.

“I wish Papa would take us somewhere,” she said to Clover, as they walked up the gravel path. “All the other girls’ Papas do.”

“He’s too busy,” replied Clover. “Beside, I don’t think any of the rest of the girls have half such good times as we. Ellen Robbins says she’d give a million of dollars for such nice brothers and sisters as ours to play with. And, you know, Maria and Susie have awful times at home, though they do go to places. Mrs. Fiske is so particular. She always says ‘Don’t,’ and they haven’t got any yard to their house, or anything. I wouldn’t change.”

“Nor I,” said Katy, cheering up at these words of wisdom. “Oh, isn’t it lovely to think there won’t be any school to-morrow? Vacations are just splendid!” and she gave her bag another toss. It fell to the ground with a crash.

“There, you’ve cracked your slate,” said Clover.

“No matter, I sha’n’t want it again for eight weeks,” replied Katy, comfortably, as they ran up the steps.’

Little does Katy know that she is to have a bad accident that changes everything…

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