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BOOK REVIEW: Plus Activity: ARE WE THERE YET? by Dan Santat

Dear Kim,

A πŸ’—ValentineπŸ’— to Dan Santat's ARE WE THERE YET?


How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways:

1. Your endpapers. Ah the rare beauty of endpapers so divine that I want to frame them for my walls. And the way that they gift my readers with an understanding of the beginning and end of the book is that of a love song.

2. Your surprises. Thank you for letting us unwrap your jacket for a surprise. Thank you for giving us the ability to read into your pictures, allowing for surprises with every page turn. Thank you for the movement of the book that caused movement with my readers. (The students moving was not a surprise, but the book's interactive and playful movement was a surprise for them, and that delight is worth savoring.)

Flip. Flip. Turn. πŸ’ž

3. Your type. The sound of "The text was set in Dantat and the display type was hand-lettered" had the sweet melody of magic. Hand-lettering is beloved by our readers.


4. Your story. What human hasn't heard (or uttered) the words "Are we there yet?" And yet Dan Santat's approach was completely fresh. We travel back in time and forward too. We are reminded how time does, in fact, fly and that we should appreciate the present. Layers and laughter combine to make this a favorite read aloud.


Maybe I've made one too many Valentine's this week causing an abundance of GUSH over this book? Yet it really is brilliant. Not just brilliant on the message end, which we teachers tend to like, but also on the interaction between reader and design. The kids LOVED this book and loved making their own "game board" style writing.

→The kids drew pictures of a trip on index cards with parts of the journey written at the bottom of each card.
↳Each kid then received a piece of poster board to lay the cards in any and all directions they wished.
↝Once glued down the kids drew (or glued) arrows from one illustration to the next.

Some looked like mazes with part one of the story in the upper left hand corner, and the end of the story in the dead center of the poster board. Others looked like an explosion of arrows that took great skill to follow from beginning to end. I will snag some finished products and get them posted ASAP.

Happy early Valentine's Day!
Find a book you love and write a Valentine for it too (or a review.) A review is like a Valentine for the author!!!

Much love,

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