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  • Writer's picturejenniferlaceybaker

Campgrounds, Ghosts, & A Giveaway: Exciting Wild Child Literacy Publishing News!

Greetings, fellow literature enthusiasts and adventure seekers! Today, I am thrilled to share some exciting publishing news – the final draft of The Case of The Campground Ghost is officially complete! This journey, from the initial concept to the finishing touches, has been a remarkable adventure filled with twists, turns, and a touch of mystery.

The origins of this ghostly camping story started six years ago when, during our time abroad in Thailand, the idea of Ruby & Lilou as The Great Outdoor Detectives first came to me—how time has flown since then! I never anticipated the incredible journey this project would take me on.

Jen Baker, founder of Wild Child Literacy, on a beach in Thailand with her 2-year old daughter.

Ruby was just two years old when I drafted the story. At the time, I wasn’t sure if it was any good. But when I received the following feedback from Troon Harrison, an internationally published, award-winning author, it gave me the confidence to see this project through: 

“This book is wonderful: unique, creative, imaginative, perfect for the age group—and it made me laugh aloud, usually several times per page. And I love the fact that it’s set in Canada and that after all the animal humor, there is an important takeaway about respecting wildlife.”

I shared the final draft with Ruby, now eight, for the first time this past Christmas. Witnessing her laughter at the perfectly landed punchlines was a heartwarming experience.

Of course, every great story has its share of challenges. And this was no exception. Recently, the illustrator I contracted mysteriously vanished without a trace – a fitting twist, given the ghostly storyline! Despite this hiccup, I am happy to announce that we are still on track for a Spring release.

Now, let's dive into an exclusive sneak peek into the wild world of Ruby and Lilou – best friends, amateur detectives, and sisters of a different sort – in their debut escapade, The Great Outdoor Detectives: Ruby & Lilou in The Case of The Campground Ghost.

Ruby & Lilou illustrated characters

Book Blurb:

Leaping-labradoodles! There's been a crime in the campground. Relying on Ruby’s unique ability to talk to animals, the siblings launch a full-scale investigation—who, or what, ransacked their campsite and stole Ruby’s most prized possession? To find out, the girls chase down one lead after another, confronting an unusual list of suspects with dogged determination.

Will justice prevail in this lawless land of ghostly creatures and wild, thieving animals? Or, will Lilou’s jokes—so bad they’re criminal—land her in jail first?

Excerpt From The Case of The Campground Ghost:

Chapter Heading: SnickerDoodle's & Sugar Toots

I consulted with Ruby about which snippet to share, and she didn’t hesitate when suggesting this part: 


"The last one out of bed is a rotten egg!" Mom challenged. She reached for the zipper to let some fresh air in, but a faint sound made her freeze before she could open the tent.


Everybody’s eyes went wide in panic. The whole family was well aware of the sound that Lilou’s farts made, and they were also well aware of how badly they smelt—just like a rotten egg.

Suddenly, there was a mad dash for the door. Hands frantically pulled at the zipper. When it finally opened, Mom, Dad, and Ruby tumbled out. They lay in a dog pile, gasping and gagging for air.

Lilou, grinning from ear to ear, remained in the tent. “Sugar toots!” she woofed with delight, basking in the scent of her glory.

“Nothing about that fart is sweet!” Ruby said with tears in her eyes.

Lilou laughed. Surrounded by stink, she flashed her sweetest smile, but her happiness was short-lived. Something, just over Ruby’s shoulder, caught her attention. She sprang to her paws and barked, “Intruder alert!”

Illustration Sneak Peek: Mom, Ruby, and Lilou in Kitchen making snickerdoodle cookies.


Potty humor aside, this journey promises to be full of laughter, mystery, and even a bit of learning! Will Ruby and Lilou crack the case of the campground ghost, or will Lilou's doggone jokes land her in more trouble than they bargained for? Stay tuned for the release of this exciting campground adventure, coming this spring to a bookshelf near you!

Oh! And Let’s Not Forget About The Novel Study!

Dear teachers and homeschool parents, if you’re seeking extended learning opportunities that foster language skills and offer additional insights into topics explored in The Case of the Campground Ghost, look no further! I’ve created a 100-page novel study that's brimming with Science and English Language Arts activities meticulously designed to keep kids engaged until the last page. 

What's more? This resource aligns with core curriculum concepts and delves into the following Big Ideas:

  • Language and story can be a source of creative joy.

  • Stories can be understood from different perspectives.

  • Exploring stories and other texts helps us understand ourselves and make connections to others and the world.

  • Using language in creative and playful ways helps us understand how language works.

  • All living things sense and respond to their environment.

  • Living things are diverse, can be grouped, and interact with their environment.

The Case of the Campground Ghost imparts a subtle yet powerful message about our shared responsibility towards the environment and wildlife in it. Perfect for homeschooling or class novel studies, this curriculum-based workbook is tailored toward readers aged 7-10. 

The ABCs of Wild Child Literacy: Adventure, Bonfires, and Camping

As I worked on this project this past winter, I couldn’t help but think about the camping season ahead. It’s what led me to create The Happy Camper’s Logbooka journal to record the very best camping memories from your family's outdoor adventures!

In celebration of your incredible support over these last few months, I'm giving away three copies for FREE! 🏕️📘

But, before we dive into the exciting contest details, let me introduce you to The Happy Camper's Logbook

What's Inside:

  • Memory Caches: Dedicated pages to capture the very best moments of each family camping trip. Stick in photos, jot down reflections – let those memories shine!

  • Packing Lists: No more forgotten essentials! Customizable packing lists to ensure no tent peg or s'more ingredient is left behind.

  • Open-Ended Pages: Let your creativity run wild! Use the roomy, open-ended pages to jot down camping songs, outdoor skills you want to learn, or unexpected family shenanigans.

Crafted with Love and Nostalgia:

Camping brings calmness to my soul and fire to my spirit. My favorite memories of being a wild child revolve around crackling campfires, starlit nights, and the freedom exploring nature brings. Ultimately, I created this logbook to record the joy and connection found in those family camping adventures.

Family camp out

With this journal, every page captures fantastic stories and lasting memories. But, bringing your kids outdoors isn't just about making memories. Studies show outdoor adventures boost creativity, enhance cognitive skills, and keep kids physically fit. With The Happy Camper's Logbook, you're not just capturing moments; you're giving your kids the ultimate gift – a lifelong love for the great outdoors.

WIN A COPY of The Happy Camper's Logbook! 

The Happy Camper's Logbook Give Away

How to Enter:

  • Sign Up: Stay up-to-date on news about the exciting spring launch of The Case of The Campground Ghost by signing up to the Wild Child Literacy email list.

  • Additional entries can be earned by following Wild Child Literacy on Facebook and Instagram.

Contest Details:

  • Deadline: Contest runs from March 11th to Midnight, April 30th, 2024.

  • Winners Announcement: Three winners will be determined by a random draw and will be contacted via email immediately afterward!

  • The contest is open to residents of North America only. Must be 18 years of age.

  • This contest is not sponsored by Facebook.

Enter today, and don't miss the chance to make your next family camping adventure extraordinary with The Happy Camper's Logbook! 🌲

Good luck, and may camping reservations always work out in your favour!

Special request: 

The best way to support authors is by sharing your thoughts. If you explore The Happy Camper's Logbook, I would be grateful if you left a review. 

Your words not only inspire me, but they also help fellow adventurers discover the joy within these pages. Thank you for being a part of my literary journey! 📖✨

Please take a moment to leave a review on Amazon. (Amazon allows reviews even if you received/purchased an item elsewhere.)


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