158. “Are we there yet, Daddy?” by Virginia Walters

As the holiday season ushers in,  the travel planning picks up. Of course ideally, grandparents would live next door, but the reality is that some of us need to travel hours by car or by plane, as it is in our case, to join the relatives for the festive celebrations.

If you’d like to get your children excited about the journey, today’s book provides a great pretext.

A boy and his dad are leaving the city for grandma’s house. She lives 100 miles away. For the boy this number is abstract, so every 10 miles dad gets to hear the same question over and over again. ” Are we there yet, Daddy?” Dad responds patiently, but when the boys wants to know how much more  miles they have to go, clever Dad simply says: “Just look at the map, Son. Then you will know.”  And so the boy does.  And so the boy learns.

First of all, I must applaud the boy’s Dad.  I fully agree that boys need to learn reading maps. It is a valuable skill for every man. GPS? Sure, provided you are not surrounded by skyscrapers or hiking in national parks. Secondly, I am really impressed with the book. Not only is the story written in a very engaging way (smooth rhyme, rhythm, catchy refrain), but the real highlight of it is a map on which the reader can follow every step of the journey. S. D. Schindler’s pictures make the reading so much more exciting.

Good luck planning your holiday trips and in the meantime enjoy the ride to grandma’s house with the two boys and the map.


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