We've all been there. Or more accurately, we've all been with kids in the backseat clamoring (over and over!) "Are we there yet?" In this genius of a picture book, bestselling author Nina Laden combines forces with dynamic illustrator Adam McCauley to turn that dilemma on its head. Fun for kids and adults, the book is filled with details that readers will want to hunt for (over and over!). Buckle up and enjoy the ride! Plus, this is the fixed-format version, which looks almost identical to the print edition!
A dark-haired boy and his mother drive to his grandmother's house, and before they're even out of the neighborhood, he's asking the question of the title. The voyage turns out to be anything but ordinary as increasingly surreal sights appear in the ever-changing landscape. In a desert, a distant volcano erupts, and a T. rex emerges from behind a heap of rocks; a detour under the ocean offers a glimpse of a parrot in a diving suit, while the final leg of the trip sees them traveling through a cosmic wormhole in what appears to be an homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Laden (Once Upon a Memory) keeps the text to the exchanges between mother and child ("Are we there yet?" "No") while McCauley (Smarty Marty's Got Game) toys with recurring motifs as jackalopes, minotaurs, butterflies, cowboys, and more reappear in signage, topiaries, and unlikely environments. The twisting, cyclical movement hints at deeper metaphysical quandaries (where is "there," exactly?). In the end, "Are we there yet?" is the least of the questions raised. Ages 3 5. Author's agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary Agency.