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The Bathing Costume: Or the Worst Vacation of My Life
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The Bathing Costume: Or the Worst Vacation of My Life

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  217 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
The book's protagonist is Michel, an eight-year-old Parisian boy. His brother Martin, who's twelve, detests him, and he detests Martin right back. This summer, Michel will go away alone, which really means without his mom, to stay with his grandparents while his parents move apartments. To add to the horror, Michel's older boy cousins will be going, too. As Michel says, "T ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 28th 2013 by Enchanted Lion Books (first published May 1st 2013)
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2014 Award Winners
49th out of 72 books — 16 voters
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Batchelder Award Books
12th out of 85 books — 4 voters

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Community Reviews

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Jul 13, 2016 Josiah rated it it was ok
Using short, quick sentences like another of Charlotte Moundlic's picture books, The Scar (only to vastly different effect), The Bathing Costume follows seven-year-old Ronnie's summer vacation to his grandparents' chalet in the French countryside while his parents finish up details of their move to a new home in Paris. Ronnie has never vacationed without his mother, and he's less than thrilled at the thought of joining his three older cousins—Jean, Edgar, and Hector—for a week with no parents. ...more
Tom Bochnak
Feb 04, 2015 Tom Bochnak rated it it was ok
This book is all about an 8 year old boy's vacation at his grandparents' home, and he's staying there without his parents. This book was published in France, and it definitely has some of those cultural elements. As a result, this book wasn't all that relatable to me, nor do I see it as relatable to my students. I wasn't sure how the author wanted me to feel about the young boy, and so I just felt annoyed by all the characters.

I did like the ending of the story though. The story is short, and s
Stacy Countee
Feb 08, 2015 Stacy Countee rated it really liked it
The family will be moving in a month. The parents have decided to have their son Bonnie Ronnie spend a week in his hometown Paris with his grandparents, while they take a separate vacation of their own. Bonnie Ronnie was nervous about the visit and to make matters worse he was given swim wear that was over-sized and dropped continuously during his visits to the pool. However, once he began having fun with his cousins and grandparents, and conquered his fear of diving from a 10-foot board he didn ...more
Susan  Person
Jul 29, 2014 Susan Person rated it liked it
Shelves: j-fiction
A sweet little read, translated from the French. 8-year-old Ronnie goes to spend a week with his grandparents in the country. This is the first time ever that he's been away from his mother, and he's a bit concerned about missing her - and about getting picked on by his older, rough cousins. A family tradition is to jump off the high dive at the local pool - something that everyone has to do as they turn 8. Ronnie is terrified of this expectation - and even worse, he's wearing his older brother' ...more
KidsFiction Teton County Library
TCL Call Number: J Beginning Moundlic
Cindy's Rating: 4 stars

This is a sweet book intended for grades 1-3. The illustrations, particularly on the faces of the boys as they take showers are priceless.

It is the story of Myron who is almost 8 years old. He is leaving to stay with his grandparents for the summer...which makes him anxious since he has never been away from his mother. He also has to overcome a few other uncomfortable incidents, all of which he does in a realistic humorous way.

By the en
Jul 05, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: mc-international
Myron hates his name, his brother picks on him, and now he has to go on vacation without his mom, who has always gone on vacation with him. Myron, a.k.a. Ronnie, is extremely apprehensive about being sent to spend a week with his Grandparents and three cousins in the country because he is scared of his grandpa and his cousins are bigger and tougher. He has adventures like riding bikes, a scary storm, and the 10 foot high dive. The book is a sweet, genuine, at times funny tale about growing into ...more
Rebecca Hansen
Text to text: Since this writing style was much like a diary format, this reminded me of the book "Diary of a Fly". Both are very realistic accounts of a person's true feelings and perspective of their days. The reader is able to see all emotions involved in a day. It would be really interesting to read this book and challenge students to have their own journals for a week or whatever length of time while experiencing something different. That way, the students can compare experiences and emotio ...more
Paul Farbman
Feb 23, 2014 Paul Farbman rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Second to third grade and kids leaving their parents for the first time
Recommended to Paul by: Terry Benton
This Batchelder Award winner from France is a wonderful read. Though it is from a foreign country, I feel like it is very relatable to American children.

Like many kids his age, Myron is about to take his first summer vacation away from his mommy. As this is a new concept to him, he feels terrified and worries that this will be the worst vacation of his life. Myron goes to his grandparents' house in the country. Here he fears his strangely silent grandfather and has trouble getting along with his
Aaron Milnes
Genre: Realistic Fiction- this is very possible events but with made up characters.
Audience: Primary- this borders on intermediate but it is close to second grade readers. The book still has easy words but it has more words than most picture books, however it is still too easy for older readers.

Text to Text: My Fathers Arms are a Boat by Stein Erik Lunde both these books have a character that is insecure and worried, but they both come to realize everything will work out.

Text to Self: At the end
Feb 17, 2014 Trish rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This Batchelder Honor Book for 2014 is too long for a preschool story time, but could be a perfect read-aloud one-on-one. This book, translated from the French, speaks to young children away from home for the first time. Myron, or Ronnie, goes to stay at a cottage with his grandparents and cousins while his parents prepare to move. Ronnie has never been away from his mother before, so decides to write to her every day. The book is broken down by day. Day One he is sure he is about to have the wo ...more
I was charmed by this. A boy spends a week of his summer vacation with his grandparents and cousins. At first, he's not thrilled about it, but in a completely realistic way that will have most kids nodding the "I've been there" nod. Plus, part of the story revolves around a too-big swimsuit, which is always good for a laugh.
Daniel Middleton
Oct 14, 2014 Daniel Middleton rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
My wife and daughter read the book following my recommendation, but neither of them were bowled over. I, however, really liked it, mainly because I felt I could easily relate to the main character, a Parisian boy named Michel, whom his older brother has teasingly dubbed "Bonnie Ronnie." Let's just say that his summer does not go as well as could be expected when he is forced to separate from his parents and spend time in the country with other relatives (mischievous male cousins included). Durin ...more
Sandy Brehl
This is a "throw-back" type of picture book, with small type, block text on most pages. It is wry, charming, and offers a recognizable view of a young boy's transition from timid to confident in himself and his place in the family. Illustrations are delightful and augment the text well.
Cassidy Gilbride
There are multiple text-to-self connections that I could make in this book. Text-to-self just means that I am finding ways that this book's plot or characters relate to my life. The premise of the book is that a young boy, Myron, goes off on his own for the first time to spend his summer vacation at his grandparents' house. I can definitely remember the first time I went to my grandparents' house in Iowa for the first time by myself. I felt just as nervous as Myron did to go out on my own. There ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 13, 2014 Anabelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: multicultural
For ‘The Bathing Costume’ I chose to do a text to world connection. I chose this because there are many children during the summer that go off to summer camp or their grandparents’ house for a week or even a couple months. Some kids enjoy going away for a little while and some absolutely hate it. I think if there was a kid that had to go away for a little while during summer vacation and wasn’t looking forward to it, they could read this book and it could help them feel better about going. The b ...more
Shayne Cope
Mar 18, 2014 Shayne Cope rated it really liked it
This book was humorous and can easily be related to children. It would be great especially for a timid child or to increase independence, but great for all as well.
Aug 26, 2014 RC rated it really liked it
Eight-year-old Ronnie is sent on what he anticipates to be the worst vacation of his life with his grandparents and cousins while his family moves. His older cousins tease Ronnie relentlessly and he is afraid of his grandfather. From the start of the week, Ronnie is wishing he could be anywhere but there. As the week progresses, Ronnie competes with his cousins to see who can shower the least, takes wild adventures without helmets on bikes and mustering the courage to dive off the high dive, a r ...more
Aug 04, 2015 Marion rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, gslis
When eight-year-old Michel is sent to stay with his grandparents for a week, he can't help but worry knowing it will be his first time away from home. Even worse, his older cousins will be there too – all leading to an unforgettable vacation.

The story is told in first person through the eyes of Michel with such an honesty and innocence that it takes the reader back to when they were that age and experiencing their own first time away from home. The reader gets to experience the rollercoaster of
Chris Go
Aug 10, 2014 Chris Go rated it it was amazing
This is a book that might make helicopter-type parents squeamish.

Myron, who is eight, is sent to his grandparents' house for a week while his parents prepare for the family's move. His brother lucks out and gets to visit a friend in England. This is Myron's first time being away from his dear mama, and both are dreading the idea.

It turns out that a few of Myron's cousins will also be staying with the grandparents that week, but this only adds to Myron's fears. It would seem that now that Myron h
Feb 02, 2014 Lisa rated it liked it
Ronnie is spending his first vacation without his mama. A week in the country with his grandparents and cousins; it’s bad enough that his cousins treat him like a baby, but when they go swimming, Ronnie discovers he brought his older brothers suit (grandma calls it a bathing costume) and now that he’s 8 he has to jump off the high board. This Batchelder honor book about making the best of a bad situation would be a fun choice for the elementary library.

Cross-posted to http://kissthebook.blogspot
Melissa Mcavoy
An engaging story about a little 8 yr old French boy sent on a vacation without his parents for the first time. In the country with his older brother and cousins he is at first the but of jokes, but after participating in some rebellious adventures: not washing, riding bikes over jumps without helmets, the boy gains enough confidence to tackle the high dive that is a family tradition. The translated text is a bit stilted.
Mar 25, 2014 Brielle rated it really liked it
I thought this book was really cute. It was originally written in French. This book has long text and I thought it was a funny book. At first the main character was being a Debbie downer about going on vacation but in the end he had a good time. I feel that this is a good book because a lot of younger students can relate to this book because they don't want to be away from their family.
Destinee Sutton
Poor Myron. He doesn't like his name. He's going into third grade and hasn't lost a tooth yet. And now he has to spend his summer away from his beloved mother. Luckily, what starts as the worst vacation ever, eventually turns into the best vacation ever.

This is a sweet story for shy, sensitive types. The title made me think it would be funny, but it's actually entirely earnest.
Jun 10, 2014 kim rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014, kids, picture
pretty dang cute/funny. a little awkward in that it appears to be a picture book for little kids, but it's more of a 2nd grader/3rd grader type book. and parts of the text are in cursive, and most kids don't learn that til 3rd grade, so no kid is reading this on their own before that. however, for the right audience/setting, this is a great little story about a young boy
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I read this because it's a 2014 Mildred L. Batchelder Award honor book. However, I wasn't terribly impressed, though I did like how the illustrator drew people. It's a nice story about a boy who spends a vacation that he thinks will be the worst ever with his cousins and grandparents. I imagine elementary-age kids would enjoy it.
The Brothers
Jan 20, 2016 The Brothers rated it really liked it
A young boys (who's very attached to his mom) goes on his first vacation without her. He goes with his grandparents to their summer house and spends a week there with his cousins. At first he doesn't like anything about the vacation, but as the week progresses and he becomes more sure of himself, he discovers how much fun there is out there in the world

Illustrations are good.
Oct 26, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
A great example of how an international book can describe common life experiences across cultures. A boy is sent to live with this grandmother in France while his parents are preparing for a move. The boy is terrified of his older cousins but ultimately bonds with them as they bend the normal rules of taking daily showers and wearing bike helmets. The boys build bike ramps from old wood and carry candles instead of flashlights when the electricity goes out. The book ends with the challenges that ...more
Jan 12, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Upper elementary picture book. I especially like the illustrations--lots of energy and expressiveness in people's faces. This is really a coming of age story about a boy visiting his grandparents for the summer. While away from home, he faces teasing and torment from cousins, the terror of the high dive, and being away from his parents. Charlotte Moundlic is becoming one of those authors I look out for because her books seem to always have an interesting approach.
Oct 28, 2015 Claire rated it did not like it
This won an award for best kid lit-in-translation, but I really don't get it. I'm all about small stories, but there's really nothing much here at all. So bland and blah - no real flavor! What am I missing?
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