Are We There Yet?
by Dan Santat, illus. by Dan Santat
The refrain is a familiar
one. Maybe an hour into a road trip, a voice pipes up from the backseat, asking, “Are
we there yet?” This is the refrain uttered throughout Are We There Yet, written and illustrated by Caldecott Medal Winner Dan Santat, author and illustrator of Beekle. A family of three is driving to celebrate Grandma’s birthday.
The narrator, a young boy, thinks the trip is taking forever, a familiar
feeling for small children. He says, “The car trip to visit Grandma is always
exciting! But after the first hour, it can feel like an eternity.”
Are We There Yet? explores what happens when your brain gets too bored…and apparently, that means time goes backwards! Santat cleverly employs tricks such as turning the book upside down and flipping pages right to left, making the reader travel backwards in time alongside the family in the book. Buckle up and come along for the ride! Santat ensures that the reader will most definitely NOT be bored as they follow the family in a little orange car back through the stage coach era, to when pirates rule the high seas, even going so far back to see the ancient Egyptians at work. The reader will travel back in time millions of years to when dinosaurs walked the earth. Finally, the little boy thinks, something exciting! And since his brain is no longer bored, the book fast-forwards to October 24, 2059. Oops! Too far into the future—the family has missed the birthday party! When they finally arrive, just in time for the birthday party, there is no better time than the present.
Original to The Clarion Ledger.