Books to help with kids’ summer camp anxiety

JENNIFER BAER, Special to the Jewish Light

Apparently, I’m developing some skills that just can’t be reflected on a résumé, such as my near perfect ability to embarrass my kids. While I know that they don’t need me to hold their hands anymore when we cross the street, something in me instinctively still reaches for them.

I confess that I sometimes have to suppress an urge to cover my kids in bubble wrap, which is only tempered by the knowledge that I do want them to experience life, in all its unpredictability.

Summertime brings with it countless new opportunities for my kids, especially if they are doing a day or overnight camp. I hope you enjoy these PJ Library books about camp while I work on trying to embarrass my kids a bit less frequently and put away the bubble wrap for more fragile items.

‘I Love Camp!’

Written and illustrated by Todd Parr

Ages: 3 to 4 Years


A great way to introduce the concept of camp to little ones

‘Sadie, Ori, and Nuggles Go to Camp’

Written by Jamie Korngold;

Illustrated by Julie Fortenberry

Ages: 4 to 5 Years

Synopsis: For the first time, Ori is going to sleep-away camp,  and he’s nervous. Can he bring Nuggles? Or will the other campers laugh at him? Sadie helps him out.

‘Sami’s Sleepaway Summer’

Written by Jenny Meyerhoff

Illustrated by Cathi Mingus

Ages: 7 to 8 Years

Synopsis: Sami is absolutely certain she’s not a “sleep-away camp kind of kid.” Will a four-day, three-night minisession at Camp Cedar Lake change her mind?

‘Noah Green Saves the World’

Synopsis: Noahs summer is turning into the wildest ever! Instead of film camp, his parents are sending him to Camp Challah?! Plus, his wacky grandfather keeps sending him messages by carrier pigeon, and now the Rottweilers are after him! How will he ever finish making his movie?

Jennifer Baer works as the director of family and teen engagement at the Jewish Federation of St. Louis and has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 20 years. Born in Memphis, Tenn., she holds a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the University of Texas in Austin and a master’s degree in social work from Washington University.

To register to receive free books from PJ Library for kids birth through 8 ½, go to and for kids 8 ½ through 12 years, go to to sign up.