Are We There Yet? by Alison Lester
Published by Penguin Books Australia
As children, we’ve all enjoyed watching the countryside pass by as we journey in the family car and chant, ‘I spy with my little eye, something beginning with…’
Parents are always thankful for the game too (at least until arguments ensue about whose turn it is to play), because it keeps restless littlies busy during long trips. Inevitably and often well before the destination, there’s the tired little voice from the back seat asking, ‘Are we there yet?’
Alison Lester’s classic picture book Are We There Yet? was the 2005 CBCA Picture Book of The year and is now older than its target readership.
The lift-the flap version of the book is adapted for younger children, providing them with a new dimension to the perennial travelling fun of ‘I-Spy’. When Grace and her family begin an around-Australia journey, not only are young readers able to imagine they are there with her, they can now lift flaps as Grace plays ‘I-spy’ with them.
Heading north-west from their home in Binnum in far-eastern South Australia, the journey takes Grace, her family and the reader through the Coorong, up to the Barossa Valley, then across to Western Australia and all the way up to Broome. There are wonderful activities to enjoy and fellow travelers to meet. What’s more, there are iconic landmarks, the beach, animals and no end of other exciting things to spy along the way.
The journey and the ‘I- spy’ fun doesn’t end there. As the book’s detailed map shows, across to Alice Springs and Uluru they go, then back up to Darwin and East to Northern Queensland. The trip south extends through New South Wales, Canberra and all the way down to Tassie. Finally, the family pass through Melbourne, then head back to where they started.
Grace and the reader spy all sorts of things as they travel Australia: pelicans, wildflowers, horses, dolphins, Uluru, penguins, rock art, snow, forests, fireworks over Sydney Harbour… and much, much more.
At the end of the journey, Grace at last spies with her little eye something beginning with ‘H’.
It’s ‘home’, of course, which is always the best place to be.
The original book made it to its rightful destination many years ago… into the hearts of children and parents alike…and this lift-the flap version of Are We There Yet? is travelling the same road.
It’s my turn now; I spy with my little eye some very satisfied young readers.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author/Illustrator: Alison Lester
Title: Are We There Yet?
Publisher: Penguin Books
Published: July 2015