Caterpillar Summer: Top 10 Things to Do on Gingerbread Island
Summer vacation is the best time of year! From sunshine to beach trips to spending time relaxing with your besties, there’s nothing better than a few months off from school to reset and have fun after a hard year. That’s what Caterpillar Summer by Gillian McDunn is all about! Those unexpected, summer adventures that teach you so much about who you are and how you fit within your family and the world around you.
Since Caterpillar Summer takes place on an island, author Gillian McDunn wanted to share her characters’ favorite summer activities, giving you a glimpse into this fantastic read.
This beautifully written, emotional debut perfect for fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt or Ali Benjamin tells the story a girl, her special needs brother, and the summer they will never forget.
Cat and her brother Chicken have always had a very special bond–Cat is one of the few people who can keep Chicken happy. When he has a “meltdown” she’s the one who scratches his back and reads his favorite story. She’s the one who knows what Chicken needs. Since their mom has had to work double-hard to keep their family afloat after their father passed away, Cat has been the glue holding her family together.
But even the strongest glue sometimes struggles to hold. When a summer trip doesn’t go according to plan, Cat and Chicken end up spending three weeks with grandparents they never knew. For the first time in years, Cat has the opportunity to be a kid again, and the journey she takes shows that even the most broken or strained relationships can be healed if people take the time to walk in one another’s shoes.
AUTHOR: Gillian McDunn
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury Children’s Books
DATE: April 2, 2019
A Note from the Author:
Cat and her little brother Chicken have big plans for their summer–but those plans are about to change! Instead of visiting Cat’s best friend in Atlanta, they’re going to spend three weeks on Gingerbread Island with grandparents they’ve never met. At first, Cat is beyond disappointed to be stuck on the island. But after a while, she starts to feel like it’s a special place.
Gingerbread Island is imaginary, but it’s based on a real place in North Carolina called Topsail Island. Miss Sunshine’s and the Dawson family’s mini golf course may not exist in real life, but lots of the things listed below can be done on Topsail or on other islands.
I love to be at the beach, so it was fun to imagine an island with all my favorite parts of a summer vacation! Read on to learn about Cat and Chicken’s top 10 favorite things to do on Gingerbread Island!
Top 10 Things to Do on Gingerbread Island (According to Cat and Chicken):
- Ride Bikes:
On Gingerbread Island, having a bike means freedom. On her bike, Cat can ride from the Town Square at one end of the island to the mini golf course at the other.
- Get Ice Cream at Miss Sunshine’s:
This shop is famous for both its delicious ice cream and entirely pink-and-yellow decor. It’s a perfect place for good conversation on a rainy day.
- Go to the Playground:
The playground is a perfect spot for playing and meeting new friends. There is a “vintage” push merry go round that Chicken loves to spin on! Cat prefers the swings.
- Search for Sea Glass and Shark Teeth:
The beach has plenty of treasures. Cat loves to look for sea glass while Chicken loves to look for fossilized shark teeth, which are black and shiny.
- Go to the Library:
The library on Gingerbread Island is right in the Town Square. There are statues of dolphins and other ocean creatures that kids like to play on. The library has fun programs and lots of books to keep kids reading all summer long. Chicken says the best part is all their shark books. (Sharks are Chicken’s favorite!)
- Take a Sea Turtle Walk:
Did you know that sea turtles return to the place they were born in order to lay their eggs? Gingerbread Island takes these visits seriously. Volunteers walk the island each morning to see if any new nests have been laid. Nests are protected to keep the baby turtles safe.
- Make Sandcastles:
Chicken loves to dig and pat the sand into place. He likes to make moats for the sharks to swim in. Chicken says: Always be sure to flatten the sand at the end of the day so it doesn’t block a sea turtle coming onshore to lay her eggs.
- Go Minature Golfing:
There is a one-of-a-kind golf course at one end of the island, and sometimes there are coupons, if you know where to look.
- Hunt for Ghost Crabs:
Late at night, these crabs emerge from their burrows. Island kids love to chase them with nets before returning them to the sand.
- Go Fishing:
One great thing about fishing is all the time spent looking at the water. Sometimes it’s easier to talk when you’re standing side by side.
Gingerbread Summer is out today from Bloomsbury Children’s Books. Interested in meeting the author? You can catch her at the following events:
April 26-27: SoKy – Southern Kentucky Book Festival in Bowling Green, KY
May 18: Greensboro Bound Literary Festival in Greensboro, NC