"Are we there yet?" It's an age-old question that's been asked by millions of children around the world and throughout the ages kids traveling by horseback and covered wagon, by airplane and automobile. Now, a breezy new book for younger readers captures all the pesky curiosity behind the timeless inquiry. Written in verse, Are We There Yet? opens appropriately enough with all the hoopla and hope that mark the start of a car journey: "Backseat Race /All in place?/Wagon ho!/Here we go!/City fading,/Ducks parading, /Mooing cows all serenading."Of course, before you know it everything starts disintegrating in the back seat. The sudden pastoral scene of grazing cows is interrupted by more of Dandi Daley Mackall's short but to-the-point verse: "Sing-along?/Hate that song! How long is Ã”It won't be long?'" If you've ever been on an extended car ride with kids, you'll definitely be able to relate.
Shannon McNeill's art is the perfect accompaniment to the chaos. Her simple scenes and faces are filled with all the joy, boredom and annoyance that characterizes any family's endless interstate journey. Humorous pictures show the long road, the passing scenery and, of course, close-ups of what's going on inside the car, including a snoring father with his mouth open wide, and a bored brother about to pull his sister's ear. Verses like "Open sunroof /Byebye, shoe!" are left up to the imagination. (Note when you share this book with your children, be sure they don't get any new ideas of their own!) And yes, there is finally an end to this journey, one that's well worth the wait. The family reaches a fairground, where they jump into bumper cars the perfect outlet for the many frustrations that mounted during the just-completed car ride!Be sure to take this book along on your own family trips and whip it out during those moments when you're ready to escape through a window and take a walk. Happy traveling!