Summer car trip coming up? This Perfect Picture Book Friday selection just might give you a fresh take on it.
Title: Are We There Yet?
Written and Illustrated by: Dan Santat
Little, Brown and Co., 2016, fiction
Suitable for ages: 3-6
Themes/topics: boredom, trips, space and time
A car trip to visit Grandma is always exciting! But after the first hour, it can feel like an eternity. You might find yourself saying things like, “Are we there yet?” or, “This is taking forever.”
(from worldcat.org) “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.”
Activities and Resources:
Generate a list of games for car trips. Which ones will involve interaction with the world outside the window?
Create an activity for a car trip.
Storytelling: List 3 activities that make time slow down for you. List 3 that make time speed up. Choose one and create a story that uses words or pictures in a special way that will show how it feels for you.
Art: Experiment with directionality and illustrations that require rotation.
Why I like this book:
The creative format stretches readers’ minds with a mix of graphic novel, book turning, even directionality changes. It took several readings for me to take it all in and fully appreciate the complexity.
When a family sets out on a car trip, it isn’t long before the child becomes lost in a trance of oblivious boredom. Time slows down and even moves backwards, taking him on an incredible journey. But he fails to notice all that’s going on around him. As they go back in time, the pages actually turn the opposite direction. Then, when the boy is awakened by a “ROAR!” and engaged in the moment, time begins to fly. The author brings freshness to so many classic lines that we’ve all heard from kids and elders, such as “Sit back and enjoy the ride,” “You never know where life may take you,” “Enjoy the moment,” and “Can we go now?” There’s something for everyone in this book if you take the time to enjoy it.
Visit author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books for a plethora of picture books listed by title and topic/theme, each with teacher/parent resources.