'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 4 October 2010

Review: Are We There Yet?

Title: Are We There Yet?

Author/Illustrator: Alison Lester

Publisher: Penguin, $24.95 RRP

Publication Date: 2004

Format: Hard cover

ISBN: 9780670880676

For ages: 3+

Type: Picture book

About: This is true literary love.

Opening to a beautiful drawing of a car and caravan in the outback, and a large map of Australia marked with the characters’ journey and the sights they’ve seen – you get the feeling this is going to be something special.

Eight-year-old Grace is taken on a term-long trip around Australia with her parents and brothers. Beginning with the preparation, before taking us through each stage of the journey, this is a story packed with snippets of information suited to young children.

Along the way, Grace’s younger brother constantly asks the question that all parents, um, love: “Are we there yet?” until they eventually arrive home again.

This is a trip around this huge country from your lounge room, an introduction for kids about the amazing things there are to see on our own island.

It’s a long story, but breaking it down into shorter sections (‘Starting Out’, ‘The Top End’, ‘The Cold Country’ and so on) makes it a great transition from picture books to chapter books.

With small illustrations dotted throughout each page, the book has a travel journal feel to it, allowing readers to become even more engaged with the narrator.

This is Lester at her finest. Perfect for any family about to embark on Australian travel, or for the child who is intrigued by such an idea.

This book is available online

Teaching notes