Perfect Picture Book Friday: THE DUSK EXPLORERS Plus a Double Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends.

Oh dear, such sadness in the world…and now with the recent events in this country, it’s even more important to give children books that mirror kindness and inclusion.

And that’s why I’m thrilled to feature this book – I was lucky enough to get an early peek at the ARC when I paneled with Lindsay Leslie at the NCTE last November. And Lindsay is generously offering a DOUBLE GIVEAWAY…one person will win a copy of the book…and another person will win a Picture Book Manuscript Critique…the book is a treasure…and I can tell you that Lindsay gives brilliant critiques!

dusk explorers


Written by Lindsay Leslie

Illustrated by Ellen Rooney

Published by Page Street Kids

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Summer fun, ingenuity, diversity

Synopsis: From Amazon:

It’s that special time of evening, when the hours and the possibilities seem endless: Light is fading. A buzz of excitement and wonder takes over the neighborhood….What outdoor adventures await? Join a diverse group of suburban kids as they dash and dodge in classic street games like tag and kick-the-can and reconnect with nature’s simple pleasures catching frogs, hunting fireflies, and climbing trees. These explorers play, laugh, and make the most of their own front yards right up until their parents call out that “It’s time to come home!” But when the sun begins to set tomorrow, they’ll be back for more evening excitement!

This ode to the timeless magic of summer evenings spent outside will remind kids of the fun and friends that wait just outside their doors and leave adults smiling with nostalgia for their own dusk explorations.

Why I love this book:

  • Wonderful text that invites kids to enjoy the great outdoors on summer evenings – I can definitely remember being outside all day…running in for dinner when called…and then playing outside again until it was bedtime.
  • Fabulous illustrations show us a beautifully diverse neighborhood.
  • And just take a look at the super cool trailer…

We all know how important it is to get the word out about new books. And these days, with the cancellation of book festivals and bookstore events, I hope you will support your favorite books however you can. Buy and review them, tell friends about them, and ask your local libraries to purchase copies for their shelves.



So many craft ideas to choose from! Which ones will you and your children try?

For detailed instructions:

Please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into the double-your-pleasure, double-your-fun giveaway…why not share what your favorite outdoor pastime was when you were a kid: jump rope, hop scotch, hit-the-penny, stoop ball (if you lived in NYC), or what? If you share the post on social media, you get extra tickets in the giveaway hat. (But please remember that FB is not allowing us to share the url link for this blog post. You can share on Twitter and hopefully on Instagram…and then you can share your Twitter url on FB…or you can share my FB post.)

And for more picture book recommendations and activities, hop on over to Susanna Hill’s blog.

Please stay safe and well!

102 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday: THE DUSK EXPLORERS Plus a Double Giveaway

  1. This book looks fantastic! It sure brings back memories of playing hide and seek in the neighborhood at dusk while we waited to hear our moms calling us in. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so excited for this book. I requested a few books during the covid lockdown even though our library was closed but they are re-opening next week and one of the books that I requested and has come in is Dusk Explorers. When I was a kid I loved hopscotch and elastics. We would jump extra long elastic anchored between two friends’ legs and I loved it. As I live in Australia I can only enter for the critique prize. Thankyou, Vivian and Lindsay.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This book reminds me of growing up in a small town in Maine. As kids – groups of siblings, neighbors, and friends – we roamed, explored, played games, and watched out for each other until it was too dark to see outside. We played kick-the-can, hickory, hide and seek, flashlight tag, and caught fireflies. I love it when I see the kids in my neighborhood do those very same things! I can’t wait to read DUSK EXPLORERS!


  3. This book evokes so many good fun childhood memories. Can’t wait to check it out. In our village we would play hide and seek, make a den and ride bikes with no lights!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a gorgeous book. It certainly is a must have encouraging kids to enjoy life in their neighborhood. Love the illustrations and simple text. Our libraries are all open now so will definitely check that they have it. .

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations, Lindsay, and thank you, Vivian! This book looks like a delight! It makes me remember the fun my brother and our neighborhood friends had playing games outside until dark.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This looks like the perfect book for right now! I loved cookouts with the next door neighbors, hopscotch, walking on stilts, and exploring the pond and upstream in little blue boats. The adventures were endless!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ahh, brings back so many memories of playing with my neighborhood friends in the hot summer sun (not caring it was 115 outside!) until the street lights turned on! Hoping to give my son the same experience. What a great book (and giveaway!! Thanks Vivian for all that you do!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This book is so perfect, especially right now. I taught my kids and the neighbor kids kick the can a couple of years ago and they loved it! They had never heard of it, which just made me feel old so I’m glad it’s in a new book! LOL I can’t wait to read it with them.😊

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What a perfect book as we start the summer season! Really hoping that kids are able to get together with friends outside to enjoy simple summer pastimes together. I recall riding bikes all across my suburban neighborhood, and we congregated in an unoccupied field in the cemetery down the street for neighborhood games of kickball.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was able to read an ARC of DUSK EXPLORERS and it is wonderful! It definitely evokes memories of my own childhood tree-climbing, firefly-catching, hide-and-seeking adventures. Congratulations! I’ll be sharing Vivian’s FB post and linking this blog post on Twitter

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Congratulations to Lindsay, Ellen and everyone involved in making this beautiful looking, magical themed book. Who doesn’t remember running around outside as a kid….a dusk explorer? I am still a dusk explorer and would be honored to have this book in our kidlit recording studio library. Time to put up some new books! Stay well, happy exploring!🌎✌🏼🎶🎨📚🙋🏼‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This wonderful book brings me right back to my childhood neighborhood playing “Starlight, Moonlight, First Star I See Tonight”. Thank you for sharing !

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Congratulations Lindsay! This book sounds fantastic.
    My first thought went to chasing my cousins around the house with 4th of July sparklers! Now my kids play basketball in the driveway until they can’t see anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I live in a family of DUSK EXPLORERS! Flashlight tag, firefly chasing, and popsicles under the stars… kids did it and now I am enjoying with my grandkids. Can’t wait to read the book!


  14. This book sounds lovely. Reading it will take me back to sleepovers with the cousins: the smell of evening as the sun sets, gr-ummms of frogs in a neighbor’s pond; laying on the grass and making up stories about the constellations. Great choice for the beginning of summer~

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Vivian and Lindsay!
      My kids and I love Dusk Explorers! I get to relive my childhood in this story and also get to become a dusk explorer with my children. Thank you for this post Vivian and for your book Lindsay!


  15. I was magically transported back to my childhood. The hours we spent after dinner playing Tip the Can. Every child should become a Dusk Explorer.


  16. This book looks fun! I remember playing hide and seek once it started to get dark outside with all the neighborhood kids. That’s when my love of running really began!


  17. This book looks like so much fun! I remember running around playing games in the dark with my siblings and the entire neighborhood. I still have a scar on my knee from falling one of those nights!


  18. This looks like a great book, Leslie. Good topic and nice book cover. I can’t wait to read it.
    Vivian, I love that rock snake craft.

    My favorite outdoor activities as a child were riding my bike, hiking in the woods, and searching for bugs, salamanders, etc. during the day. At night, we liked to watch fireflies and camp out in the backyard.


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