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Monday, April 18
Are We There Yet?
Written and illustrated by Dan Santat
My rating: ★★★★½
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Date of publication: April 12, 2016
Age: 4 years and up
Themes: time, road trip, family, imagination
Let's face it: everyone knows that car rides can be boring. And when things get boring, time slows down. In this book, a boy feels time slowing down so much that it starts going backward—into the time of pirates! Of princesses! Of dinosaurs! The boy was just trying to get to his grandmother's birthday party, but instead he's traveling through Ancient Egypt and rubbing shoulders with Ben Franklin. But when time flies, who knows where—or when—he'll end up.
It's no secret that I have a serious love for Dan Santat (see here, here, here, and here if you don't believe me) and so I'm, like, ridiculously excited about this book. He's an illustrating genius (I mean, obviously, Caldecott, hello) and this. This did not disappoint! The details! The layout! GAH! (*Ahem* okay, I'll tone it down). Okay, more specifically, the layout is fun and interactive, including some turning of the book upside down and a fun, QR-code-speaking robot. The many comic-style panels packs A LOT into this book and there's enough detail to keep you looking at the pictures for a good while. My favorite detail: Mom and Dad's changing wardrobe with each historical era.
So why not a full five stars? It's a small complaint really, but with so many panels of illustration, the text....is often.....broken up....and....all over.....the page. Which makes it slightly tougher to read. The story is really told through the pictures—I didn't feel like the text added to it. So yes, it could be read aloud, but it is just as fun for non-reading kids to pore over the pictures and enjoy. Overall, I'd read this in storytime and recommend it in a heartbeat. A wonderful follow-up to Beekle.
Find it at your library or on Amazon