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|Are we there yet?|
Author: Santat, Dan
A boy goes on a long car ride to visit his grandmother and discovers time moves faster or slower depending on how bored he is.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 1.80
Points: .5 Quiz: 181552
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 2.10
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 68631
Kirkus Reviews (+) (02/15/16)
School Library Journal (01/01/16)
Booklist (+) (02/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (04/16)
The Hornbook (00/03/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2016 PreS-Gr 3—This imaginative take on the never-ending car ride is filled with surprises. Santat, creator of Caldecott Medal-winning The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend (Little, Brown, 2014), begins this story with an invitation to Grandma's birthday party, featured on the copyright page. The kid in the backseat is eager for the trip, but after the first hour, he is tired and cranky. Remarks like "Are we there yet?" and "This is taking forever" serve only to annoy his parents. Despite drawing paper, electronic games, a book, and several toys, including a monkey and dinosaur, the child is bored. "But what happens when your brain becomes…TOO… bored?" This question is spread over the top, down the recto side, and upside down at the bottom of the verso, causing readers to turn the book around as they read. An arrow instructs them to turn the pages in the opposite direction, which is somewhat counterintuitive, but once they get the hang of it, the novelty will delight. As the child in the backseat continues to complain, the family car drives through the old West, onto a pirate plank, to a medieval joust, to a pyramid in ancient Egypt, through the dinosaur age, and into the future. Though initially alarmed, the family eventually enjoy the adventure and finally arrive at their destination. At this point, readers must turn the book around again in order to arrive at the party, where numerous elderly friends and relatives are eating cake, wearing party hats, and offering presents. One man squeezes the grandson's cheek as another pats him on the head, causing him to whine, "Can we go now?" While the design is clever, though potentially confusing, the illustrations, rendered in pencil, crayon, watercolor, ink, and Photoshop are filled with excitement and humorous details—as the family travel back in time, their clothing alters to fit the scene, from prairie bonnets to caveman skins. Full-spreads, giant comic panels, and alarmed expressions add to the fun. VERDICT Most collections will want to purchase this original, amusing offering.—Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/01/2016 *Starred Review* Following his Caldecott win for The Adventures of Beekle (2014), Santat offers an imaginative account of a boy’s car trip to his grandmother’s birthday party. What begins in excitement quickly devolves into boredom as minutes stretch into an hour. But then, readers are invited to consider what happens when their brain grows “too bored.” Let the interactive reading begin! The words begin to spiral around a spread featuring the boy’s glazed expression, forcing the book to be rotated and read upside down. Suddenly, the slow-moving time transports the car back in history, placing it alongside a steam locomotive, a pirate ship, a jousting knight, and the newly built Sphinx in Cairo. The whole time, the parents appear startled by the changing scenery, but the boy’s complaints (“My butt hurts”) continue until time stretches all the way back to the dinosaur-filled Jurassic period. Finally, he starts having fun, and time starts to fly; back around the book goes, sending the family to Grandma’s at last. The gambit to get kids involved in the story works, and Santat’s rich illustrations—ranging from double-page spreads to comic-style panels—carry it home. The text, on the other hand, reads a bit like greeting-card advice, but the inventive format and engrossing artwork will make kids happy to go along for the ride. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2016 A kid can go from full-out excitement to abject boredom before the car trip to Grandma’s is even underway. “But what happens,” the book asks, “when your brain becomes TOO bored?” Viewers turn the book to orient this question as the text wraps around the spread, and as time loses its meaning during the mind-numbing ride, the family makes its way deeper into the past: alongside a steam locomotive in the Wild West, perched on the plank of a pirate ship, at lance-point of an oncoming medieval jouster, parked next to the Egyptian pyramid construction zone, and into the age of dinosaurs. The kid in the car, now fully alert and amused, reverses the trajectory with a hasty game of dino fetch, propelling the family back to the future, but this time a little too far. They arrive at Grandma’s address, but it’s now the year 2059 and the house is gone. The parents, however, reassure their son that they know what they’re doing, and when he next opens his eyes, Grandma’s birthday party gets into full swing—replete with relatives so annoying that it must be time to hit the road again: “Can we go now?” Santat digs deep into his stockpile of illustrative tricks to manipulate time and space through clever page turns, comics style sequential frames, background fade outs, and a wealth of loony details to keep viewers scouring the scenes for giggle-worthy details. In fact there’s so much to see (including the bonus QR codes that decipher robot speech) that handing a copy to kids on their own road trip just might forestall the dreaded whine “Are we there yet?”—at least for a little while. EB - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.