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Are We There Yet?
Cover of Are We There Yet?
Are We There Yet?
Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat takes listeners on the road trip of a lifetime!"Are we there yet?" Every parent has heard this classic kid question on a long car ride—and after listening to this...
Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat takes listeners on the road trip of a lifetime!"Are we there yet?" Every parent has heard this classic kid question on a long car ride—and after listening to this...
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  • Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat takes listeners on the road trip of a lifetime!

    "Are we there yet?" Every parent has heard this classic kid question on a long car ride—and after listening to this astonishingly inventive new audiobook, you'll never look at being bored the same way again.

    Let's face it: everyone knows that car rides can be boring. And when things get boring, time slows down. In this audiobook, 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. When time flies, who knows where—or when—he'll end up.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 11, 2016
    Two parents and their son set out on a marathon car trip, headed to Grandma’s house for her birthday. “This is taking forever,” the boy groans. Suddenly—is he dreaming?—a steam locomotive appears beside their car, chased by a cowboy on horseback. Following the text around sequential panels, readers end up flipping the book upside down and turning the pages back to front as the family travels into the past. Outside, pirates fight, knights joust, dinosaurs loom. Then, just as suddenly, text and pictures right themselves and the family zooms into the future, arriving at Grandma’s house to find a space-age building in its place: “Today is October 24, 2059,” a huge screen announces. The conclusion is as neat as the bow on Grandma’s birthday gift (a clock). “Be patient,” writes Caldecott Medalist Santat (The Adventures of Beekle), dedicating the book to his son. “We have all the time in the world.” His own patience is what harnesses the energy of his riotous story and gives it a laser focus. It’s a remarkable feat—a turbocharged adventure that’s also a meditation on the relative nature of time. Ages 3–6. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House.

  • AudioFile Magazine The car trip to Grandma's always feels exciting until after the first hour, begins Robert Petkoff in the informative voice of a travel guide. Questioning and mystery enter his tone as he wonders what happens after that hour, "when your brain is bored." Then Petkoff departs from his neutral role to become the squeaky-voiced, complaining back-seat child who issues the classic titular question. On the accompanying CD, Santat's comic illustrations rotate in a spiral to mark changes in the story and the child's emotions. Petkoff animates the tale with a dinosaur roar, alien chatter, and, of course, the continual whine of the bored but imaginative passenger. Illustrations and narration work together well to emphasize the humor. S.W. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine
  • Kirkus

    Starred review from February 15, 2016
    A car trip to visit Grandma on her birthday feels like "an eternity." What happens when you just get too bored? Most parents on a car trip have heard the titular question, but in Caldecott medalist Santat's hands, the familiar trip becomes an unforgettable romp through time and space. As the moment of absolute boredom reaches "forever," a clever twist forces readers to turn the book upside down and read "backward," time also going backward. The family car travels back to the Wild West, the days of Blackbeard, medieval Europe, and ancient Egypt. As the parents grow increasingly anxious (jousting was not part of their plan), the oblivious kid in the back continues to whine, finally noticing the moment the car is in when it reaches the age of the dinosaurs. In another literal turn of the book, time now flies by too quickly. The family and other fellow time travelers--met in moments of boredom--hurtle through time into the future, arriving at Grandma's address only to find her home is no longer there, and they have missed the party. But not to worry, it is only the mind playing tricks. Employing both comic-book-style panels and full-bleed spreads, the mixed-media illustrations are full of humor, and the changes in point of view keep the telling dynamic and engaging. Mom is white, Dad slightly darker-skinned, and the party guests (when they finally arrive) are thrillingly diverse if mostly a bit long in the tooth. A multilayered, modern-day parable reminding readers there's no greater gift than the present. (Picture book. 5-8)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    January 1, 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 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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