June 18 – International Picnic Day


About the Holiday

Somehow food always tastes better when eaten outdoors. Today’s holiday gives you a chance to test that theory, by packing a basket or cooler and heading out to a forest, beach, park, playground, or backyard picnic table near you! Whether your repast is simple peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or an elegant spread, you can enjoy the company of friends and family in the great outdoors!


By John Burningham


The curly-haired boy and pony-tailed girl who live in the house on the hill pack a picnic lunch and head out. At the bottom of the slope they meet three friends—Sheep, Pig, and Duck. Boy and Girl invite this dapper trio to join them, and they take off single-file to find a picnic spot. How could they have missed seeing Bull? Well, Bull sees them and begins a chase.

“Duck, Pig, Sheep, Boy, and Girl ran as fast as they could toward the woods to hide from Bull.” They successfully dodge him by hiding behind some trees. Do you see them? After Bull gives up the chase the five friends come out of the woods, hoping to begin their picnic. But the day is full of mishaps—first Sheep’s yellow hat blows away then Pig’s ball rolls down the hill. Can you help find them?


With their possessions are safely back where they belong, the little troop continues their search for the perfect spot but is delayed again when Duck loses his scarf. At last they find a place in the field to lay their blanket. They eat and play games until it’s time to go home. Exhausted, they trudge up the hill toward home. The friends aren’t quite ready to part yet, though, and Girl and Boy invite Sheep, Duck, and Pig for a sleepover. If you’d like to join them, there might just be room for you too!

John Burningham’s classic-style story of a simple outing turned day-long odyssey will delight small children. Incorporating suspense, “oh-no!” moments, and questions eliciting interaction, Picnic invites readers to join Boy, Girl, Duck, Sheep, and Pig on their excursion. The easy-to-find objects hidden in the illustrations will give even the youngest readers a sense of inclusion, camaraderie, and accomplishment. From page to page and event to event, kids will keep giggling and following these engaging characters.

Burningham’s familiar and beloved artwork lends a lighthearted, cheerful atmosphere to the friends’ day, and the colorful, oversized format is as open and welcoming as the airy field they picnic in. Girl, Boy, Duck, Sheep, and Pig frolic in lively scenes, and the hidden objects they search for take just a perfect moment’s scan of the page for young children to find.

Picnic is sure to be a favorite story-time request.

Ages 2 – 5

Candlewick, 2014 | ISBN 978-0763669454

International Picnic Day Activity


Match the Picnic Baskets Puzzle


Six friends packed three identical picnic baskets, but somehow they were mixed up! Help the kids find the picnic baskets that are the same, so they can eat lunch. Print the Match the Picnic Baskets puzzle here!