Reading Road Trip: A Visit to a Museum

If you’ve been traveling along with us this summer, we’ve arrived at STOP SIX of our Read, Discuss, Do! Summer Reader Road Trip. It’s a museum adventure! If this is your first week with us, you can still grab our map  and join us for an epic summer reading adventure. You can find other  printable resources here . For this week’s theme, the focus is on books that include a museum as a backdrop or any nonfiction and/or other educational book that catch’s your child’s interest. Art, science, math, history…you name it! What museums are in your area? If possible, take your children to visit a local museum and learn something new. If not, use the library as your museum and look up facts about topics of interest. READ : Any books that features a museum, or any nonfiction or educational book. Featured Book : Dakota Crumb Tiny Treasure Hunter by Jamie Michalak and illustrated by Kelly Murphy. This is a picture book about a tiny mouse that hunts for treasure at night in a huge museum. With the t

Reading Road Trip Stop One: A drive through open country

by Marci Whitehurst

Ahh, it’s summer! Time to hit the road and experience wide open spaces while escaping the hustle and bustle of life! Even if you aren’t traveling physically, you can still grab our map and join us for a reading adventure. You can find other printable resources here.

This week we’re getting out of Dodge. We’ve packed our bags (with books!) and we’ve passed city buildings. The road is narrowing and any moment we’ll leave the pavement and hear the crunch of a gravel road under us. Grazing cows will look up from green pastures as we meander by. Maybe we’ll spot some wildlife. What do you think we’ll see? 

Anything is possible out here in the country! Wild animals. Herds of cattle, sheep, goats. Rolling hills. Forests. Slip away from the crowds and into open spaces. 

READ: Books about things you might find in the open country, such as farms, wildlife, rolling hills, etc.

FEATURED BOOK: Prairie Days by Patricia Maclachlan and Illustrated by Micha Archer

Cool summer mornings on the prairie begin with a rising, orange sun and the start of farm chores. Told from the first-person point of view, this story follows what a day is like on the prairie. The smells of dirt and animals, the sounds of wind and machinery. The open skies and endless rolling hills. Readers will experience everything the open country has to offer! Including a sleeping night after a full day.


  • What animals have you seen in the country?

  • Prairie Days mentions the names of small towns that are loved. What would you name a small town? 

  • What differences do you notice between city and country? Consider sights, sounds, smells, and textures in addition to animals and people. 

  • Have you ever seen or ridden a horse? Can you picture horses pulling plows and wagons?

  • What would you grow if you were a farmer? 


Make a collage of animals you might see in the country. If you take a drive, you could even create a photo book or album of pictures you take! Here’s an example of a collage I made:


Make this cute farming craft! All you need is a white paper plate, some colored paper, a blue crayon, and some tape or glue.

  1. Color half of your paper plate blue for the sky. (You may even opt to color the other half brown for dirt. I left mine white for the stark background.)

  2. Use brown paper strips or brown yarn and wrap the strips around the back of the plate. Tape them down on the back to secure them. 

  3. Color a vegetable you saw growing out in open country. You can also make your vegetable out of colored paper. I chose carrots! 

  4. Finally, slip your produce behind the paper strips or yarn. Look! It’s like a field of carrots!

Book recommendations for further reading: 

  • Bess the Barn Stands Strong by Elizabeth Gilbert Bedia, Illustrated by Katie Hickey. Bess the Barn always protects the animals. Yet when a new farmer with a new barn arrives, Bess feels left out–until a storm comes and Bess knows just what to do. 

  • Farm Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of Country Life by Julia Rothman. This book is like an encyclopedia for country living! Great for all ages–pictures depict country life, while text explores detailed concepts like cattle breeds. 

  • Cows from Head to Tail by Emmett Martin. Interesting facts about cows! Photos and text depict what makes life work for a cow. 

  • ABC: A Walk in the Countryside by Rosalind Beardshaw. A simple ABC book where every letter of the alphabet is something found in the country!

  • Some Babies are Wild by Marion Dane Bauer, Photography by Stan Tekiela. A rhyming, rollicking text about animal babies with real photos!