Sunday, June 19, 2016

Are We There Yet?

When our kids were young, we loaded them in the car every summer and took road trips to the west or to the east or north to Canada. We once were on the road for six weeks, so when I saw Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat's new book, Are We There Yet?, I had to take a look because we heard that from the backseat countless times each summer.

The family is in the car headed to Grandma's birthday party. The drive seems endless. A voice from the back seat asks, "are we there yet?" It is so boring that time seems to be flowing backwards to the Wild West, to a pirate ship, to the days of jousting knights, to the Valley of the Kings and  all the way back to the dinosaurs. On the back of a very large dinosaur, they ride quickly into the future.  We have landed on October 24, 2059! Oh no, we have missed Grandma's birthday party! The young man in the backseat drifts off into sleep. When he hears "we're here!", he wakes and runs into Grandma's arms. The book ends in a pun that even kids will get.

The construction of the book is very clever, when we head into the past, to follow the text we have to turn the book upside down. Then we are turning the pages to the left (backward). When  we are racing to the future, the text causes us to turn the book right side up again. This will definitely be in my Schools of Hope bag for next year.

The AR is 1.8. The Sonoma County Library has ten copies.

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