From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1. Three children and their parents receive an invitation for dinner from Harry and set off from the city on a trip to the country with their two dogs. Immediately losing their way among a host of road signs, they are halted by a fire on the side of the road. After asking for directions, they promptly lose their way once again. Finally the right road is found, but for no apparent reason, it runs straight through someone's farm. Arriving at Harry's as night falls, a fact that is impossible to discern from the very bright illustrations, everyone settles down for dinner by firefly light. Scary stories told round the fire follow, and the whole family eventually falls asleep in Harry's odd assortment of old cars. What might have been a thoroughly entertaining romp falls decidedly flat. Lacking spontaneity, the silliness is forced, and the strain of trying too hard to make a rather boring adventure seem like great fun shows through. Even the youngest readers will wonder why these parents are still smiling after spending all day lost and confused. While the slightly lopsided, stylized full-color pastels offer the promise of a lasting summer treat, the disjointed and contrived story line leaves this jaunty family with nowhere to go.?Alicia Eames, Brooklyn Public Library
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 3-5. The invitation read: "Please come to Harry's for dinner today." So Mom, Dad, three kids, and two dogs pile in the car and leave the city behind. Brightly colored illustrations chronicle their adventures as they get lost on the curving country roads, stop to see firefighters in action, and then, after arriving at the farm, dine outside with a sky full of fireflies, tell scary stories, and sleep in Harry's old cars. Although this may seem like plenty of action, the story never feels very exciting. The events are narrated in plain, uninteresting language; there is no dialogue and very little description. However, Hedlund's dynamic illustrations somewhat balance the overall effect by providing much-needed visual excitement. Youngsters with no real-life experience out of their city environment will benefit the most. Lauren Peterson