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Pictures from Our Vacation Hardcover – April 24, 2007


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; First Edition edition (April 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060850973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060850975
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 9.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 2–5—This deceptively simple, thoroughly engaging story is a child's account of her family's cross-country road trip (complete with hand-drawn maps) to visit the old homestead. Before they embark, Mom gives her two children instant cameras and notebooks to document their travels. But the kids quickly discover that what they record on film has little in common with what they actually experience. The snapshot of the back of Dad's head as he drives, for instance, fails in every way to capture the way it felt to be in the car with him at that moment. Photos of grass, a mountain, the sky, or cropped feet in no way reflect the endless days of rain, the secret swimming spot, or activities in the lake. The youngsters also find that on the very best days—when the large extended family gathers at the farm—they are just too busy to take any pictures. Perkins's colorful, line-intensive illustrations incorporate a lot of detailed thought bubbles and plenty of peeks inside the narrator's notebook. Vibrant watercolor renderings include the lush scenery from a variety of perspectives, the characters and their activities, their vivid imaginings, and the kids' captioned "photos." The whole is infused with wonderfully understated accidental, but child-centered humor. A journey into family dynamics, shared experience, and memory that is well worth the trip.—Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Many books idealize the joys of family vacations. Here's a more honest look at the way those trips make memories. Mom, Dad, son, and daughter, who narrates, have high hopes about a trip to the old family farm. But the drive is long and boring, and when they arrive, Dad sees happy memories, while everyone else sees old furniture and dust. It's downhill from there. Rain falls and falls some more. The local lake is hard to find, and rain ruins that outing, too. A memorial service for their dad's recently deceased great-aunt seems as though it will be the worst part of the trip, but a funny thing happens. Family appears; stories are swapped; bonds are forged. In the beginning, the narrator's poorly shot photographs, always of meaningless things, provide a kind of visual hook. After the extended family arrives, the girl doesn't take pictures. She's too busy making memories, "the kind I can keep in my mind." Perkins, who won the Newbery Medal for Criss-Cross (2005), shows she is equally adept at illustration. Using many overhead perspectives and with an eye for small details, she offers watercolors that beautifully capture all that is real about family vacations: boredom, disappointment, fun, and love. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By d. on June 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Surely those between the ages of four and eight will love this book, but I'm 48 and love it too. It's a wonderful story about a family taking a vacation to the family farm where they'll spend time with their grandparents. They go to a memorial for an aunt and the kids meet even more relatives. We learn that the dead aunt had spunk and had chained herself to a tree to prevent it from being cut down (I don't think that's how she died). Who wouldn't want to read about such a person? The illustrations are fabulous. Even though it rains, the family plays cards, read books, watches the rain, waits for it to stop, then finally it does stop raining and the dad takes the kids to his favorite swimming place, but it's not that easy to find anymore. It's a book that goes here and there and you feel fortunate to be a part of the journey.
It's June and this book is the perfect motivator to take off on a family vacation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By sloopy on November 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I am using this book in my writer's workshop as an anchor book. It has great text both in fiction and non fiction. I love how the author uses the thought bubbles to help present different points of view. I can also use it to show my students how incorporate photographs along with drawn illustrations in their own writing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Rajan on June 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book. I wanted to get in a car with my camera and take a trip. I like how the camera pictures didn't really capture the essence of the vacation since they didn't have people in most of them. The illustrations in the book are filled with pictures and every picture made my imagination run wild!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Lowery on August 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
What a great way to appreciate the small things, the quick delights, the simple pleasures of just being. While that sounds like "heady" stuff for a picture book, the tale is wonderfully rendered by Lynne Rae Perkins. I love the maps, the incidental moments, the photos that don't do justice to the experience (the photo of top of the mountains only or the hostile guard dog on their search for the secret waterhole), that ultimately, make for a wonderfully heartfelt vacation of memories. Perkins is a first-rate storyteller and illustrator of small moments.
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